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9/11 Anniversary – When Fear and Freedom Meet

September 11, 2018

Inspiration and Wisdom about Fear and Freedom this 9/11 Anniversary

As the beautiful old Christopher Columbus sailing vessel replica took off from Battery Park, the sun shone brightly across the New York City harbor. I’ve loved sailing since I was young growing up on a lake when I would take my sunfish out by myself to catch some air and peace of mind. It was just like Christopher Cross’s song, “Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be. Just a dream and the wind to carry me and soon I will be free…” I wanted to give my sons a taste of that freedom after a long work week.

Fear has a way of stopping you in your tracks sometimes. As we set off on our sail with the brilliance of the sparkling sunlight hitting the new Freedom Tower erected after the September 11th attacks where I lost my dear friend Dan Brandhorst in the second plane that hit the second tower, I didn’t feel anymore fear like I did for years after the tragedy. I felt peace glancing at the tower upon this beautiful sailing vessel. Perhaps it was a gift from my friend who I’ve honored the past 17 years.

My oldest son turned to me and said, “Mom, you know we are going right past the Statue of Liberty don’t you?” I cringed at the thought since that statue has always frightened me since visiting it up close when I was young. I know it is a crazy fear but fear is illogical. As the warm breezes greeted my face with my two sons at my side, they made someone take a photo of us in front of Lady Liberty dissolving my fear. The love of others in moments of fear can help dissipate the emotion.

I thought I would need more than one cocktail to get me through the September 11, 2001 visions in my mind or the great size of Lady Liberty but instead as my sons chatted to each other, I embraced the feeling of peace hearing the lapping water, feeling the breeze in my hair and warmth on my face and the realization that fear can be overcome in a simple sailboat trip in a harbor. Your heart has to be open to receive the blessing and your mind ready to move forward.

So today I am grateful for my friendship with Dan Brandhorst, my love for water and sailing and my sons who with their presence elevated my spirits during the meaningful trip. Just like song said, “The wind will carry me and soon I will be free.”

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