SWEET GUM LEAF
Please watch this video-It's really amazing.
Earrings, necklaces and pins have special significance, though, as they were molded using leaves from trees living within a 500 mile radius of Ground Zero; Sweet Gums will be among the species planted to surround the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and a portion of proceeds from the sale of this evocative and emotionally compelling line will go to the construction and maintenance of that all-important facility.
Rewind with me for a moment. Last January Fred and I took our first trip to New York City ever. Fifty Years old and never been to New York. Never really wanted to but boy had I missed out. As it turns out I completely fell in love with a city that I had for years proclaimed I had nothing in common with.
Now, I like the rest of the world watched in despair as the September 9/11 tragedy unfolded. I cried, shook, felt sick and even questioned the man above. I know some of you will relate to this. As horrific as it was, it was far away and sometimes when it's not in your own backyard you just don't digest it and you just don't get the entire picture. Hurricane Katrina is a perfect example. It was in my backyard and as far as I was concerned in my little brain it was the only heart wrenching thing that was going on in this entire world. I don't necessarily think these are two good comparisons but they were huge tragedies. I just happened to be in the middle of one of them.
Moving forward....... during our visit to New York we visited Ground Zero. As we approached the area I began my little 9/11 experience. I was sad, mad and all the above but most of all as shallow as this sounds I was frozen not from shock but from the 17 degree weather not to mention the windchill. I was also agitated from the noise and all the construction and could not get in the groove of mourning for something that so deserved mourning. Especially when you are standing in the smack middle of it.
Somewhat disgusted with myself and my detached perspective I followed my husband into the 9/11 museum. As he walked around educating himself with all the incredible pictures and props, I headed straight for the gift shop area. There hanging right in front of me was a rack of shiny beautiful leaves with a leaflet hanging around it. Silver, gold, brass colored. The sky was the limit. As I began to read the information I knew instantly that I had to have one for many reasons. (A) it was beautiful (B) it had such history surrounding it (C) the money was going to a great cause. Yet all I could think about was getting a cute cord to put on it to wear around my neck. What a great conversation piece.
Your probably wondering about now what it was actually for. Simple yet genius. They (and I'm not sure who they is) decided to take some of the leaves off the trees that were still standing to make a template for these incredible pieces. They then sold them to raise money to replace the trees upon completion of ground zero. How could I not buy one?
Now here is the moral of the story-I packed it in my luggage and returned home. I then placed it in my jewelry box and never looked back. Last night as I am reliving this horrific tragedy via the TV. I remember the leaf. What did I do with it? Where is it? I jumped up, or in my condition right now, I slowly maneuvered myself to the jewelry box. There is was. All shiny and just as beautiful as I had remembered. I slowly picked it up and held it to my heart. As the tears flowed I knew that after years and years of 9/11anniversaries and after unsuccessfully mourning even when I was standing on top of it I had finally put all the pieces together. Don't get me wrong I knew it was special and like the rest of the world I tried to wrap my brain around it. My heart just wouldn't let me.
Sometimes we need a small token or some sort of visual to process something that we would prefer not to. This was mine! I believe this is called compassion which is ironic in itself. The one thing in life that I do have is an abundance of "Compassion" and the one thing that I often declare is wrong with this world is the lack of. So here I stood in total confusion. It wasn't from the lack of trying rather then the ability to allow myself. Compassion! Stay tuned because that will be a blog in itself.
With that being said (and I weep as I type) my sincere compassion, my thoughts and prayers and any positive energy I have is directed to those who have lost, suffered and endured such pain. I look forward to my next visit in warmer temperatures where I can really sink my teeth into an appropriate mourning and a celebration of all the progress that has been made to restore the devastation. What a fabulous job this city has done to remember, to move forward and to maintain dignity.
And to think my $20.00 leaf may have helped. God Bless New York!