27 shades of green

Published 3:42 pm Monday, September 11, 2023

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I woke up early that morning feeling a fervent need to pray. I spent time in prayer sensing something urgent that I had never experienced in prayer. I didn’t know what to think. I just prayed.

My daughter Sonja who lived in Jersey City, New Jersey could not get her shower to work that morning. That had never happened before. Trying to fix the shower made her late for work.

My niece Monisa woke up that morning with a migraine and called into work telling her supervisor she would be late.

My friend Stephanie was annoyed because they had gotten her bagel order missed up. She wanted her bagel knowing she would be late for work that morning while she waited.

Corann, whose six-month-old threw up twice on the way to baby day care. The baby had never done that before. She had to stop and change the baby’s outfit twice that morning knowing she would be late for work.

I was on the playground with my class that Tuesday morning when another teacher came out and asked me “Miss Leesa what do you think is happening?  Planes just flew into the World Trade Center Towers and a plane flew into the Pentagon building.”  Our school administrators came out to the playground and told us to quickly get the children inside as they called parents and activated the crisis code for our school.

Miss Kathy and I got our classes inside, trying not to convey our fear to the children. We attempted to do a few calm activities waiting for parents to arrive. As the parents came, they shared snippets of what they could gather from news sources, and we prayed.

My mind went to thoughts of my brother who had recently passed from cancer. He told me one day as he was entering the last few weeks of his life, he was looking out his kitchen window into his back yard and he said he counted 27 shades of green in his garden. He said how sad it made him that he had never noticed that before.

Now this Tuesday morning I was so afraid.  It was a strange thought about my brother at a time like this, but now I too thought about how many times I had been on the playground, and never noticed how beautiful the landscaping and flowers were and counted the different shades of green.  And now, I gathered my class around me like a hen with her baby chicks, and to keep them calm we talked about how many beautiful things were on our school’s playground.

I will never forget Tuesday morning September 11th, 2001.   That day as we know it forever changed our lives in this country one way or another.

Had Sonja, Monisa, Stephanie and Corann had been on time for work that morning, their mass transit subway train from Jersey City into Manhattan would have been passing directly under the crumbling World Trade Center Towers.

Please stop and enjoy the blessings of the people, places and beauty in your life.  For life can change in an instant. Maybe you will find there are more than 27 shades of green in a place near you.  Peace and blessings to you all.