Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Gathering of Eagles on Sanibel Island

We had not planned to be on Sanibel today after changing some plans around but found ourselves there nonetheless.

It was sunny and breezy on the Island with few cars, people or even animals in sight.

Flags were flying from every church and community building and there were signs marking the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

We were not on Sanibel for 9/11 but much, much closer to the twin towers. In fact, we could at that time see the twin towers from the deck of our home. We did not personally know any one killed in the terrorist attacks, but knew several who, but for the grace of God, would have been working in the World Trade Center had they not called in sick, forgotten their glasses and returned home, had a meeting elsewhere on that morning.

The impact of that horrific event hit myself and everyone I knew extremely hard. Life seemed to stand still in a cloud of gray for weeks. We thought it was largely due to the geographic proximity, but heard from friends, colleagues and relatives the world over and the same sadness appeared to linger in their lives as well.

When we arrived on the Island weeks later, the sadness was there as well. Even a remote barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico was no retreat from the utter despair that still hung in the air. I'm not sure there would have been an escape anywhere, but certainly none on the East Coast of the USA.

So today it was no surprise to see the colors of the United States of America flying everywhere.

But what was a bit unusual and very moving was the gathering of Eagles. We have seen an Eagle on Island from time to time. But today we saw several, and they were very visible and in very "reverent" postures. OK, it could have been a pure coincidence that every Eagle on Sanibel was out and readily viewed. But then again, maybe it was not. Their presence gave us a chill: we could barely speak.