At 9:30 this morning, I heard a shocking blast that sounded like a bomb going off, shaking the Laboratory and somehow changing the air. ‘Something big has happened’. A few minutes later, as sirens started to wail, I searched the internet for news. It came quickly, through tweets and then via news sites: images of ruin and billowing smoke, frightening echoes of 9/11. Eight blocks south, two old five-story apartment buildings had collapsed after an explosion near a heavily-trafficked intersection of Harlem. I’d walked there often and wondered if the shop owners I’d talked to and bought things from were okay. I knew that some people, as ordinary as me, were not okay: their lives had been profoundly changed or lost in a moment this morning.
In the afternoon, I saw saw a news helocopter hovering in the sky, monitoring the fire fighters progress. A hawk was soaring above the park across the way. Friends emailed, texted and called to make sure I was okay, as they did on 9/11, some from as far away as Spain.
Almost 12 hours later, the sirens continue. My usual evening post is late, thrown off course by the shock that happens when a part of our community has been deeply wounded.
In honor of this very sad and remarkable day in New York City: valiant trees that sent their roots down through rock, to survive despite all. (The top one in a Harlem Park.)
With thanks to Fast Forward for sending us the tree images ages ago.