It's no longer possible to wake up on Sept. 11 and view it as just another day, so I won't be writing about health or fitness today.
For eight years now, at least for those of us who live in the Northeast, it has been hard to trust a beautiful September morning. That Tuesday dawned so crisp, clear and promising.
It was my day off, and I was in my car, on my way to go mountain biking, when I heard the reports on the radio that the twin towers of the World Trade Center were no more. I at first thought it was a hoax, a modern-day version of a War of the Worlds broadcast, until I heard the voice of the late Peter Jennings. He was someone I trusted, at a time when I trusted few.
I went ahead and rode my bike, because I didn't know what else to do.
When I returned home and turned on the TV, I couldn't bear to watch for long. To continue would be to endure an endless loop of horror — of flames and smoke and falling bodies and buildings collapsing into dust — so I shut off the TV, and my phone, and spent the rest of the day and evening in a state of disconnect.
The days immediately afterward seemed equally unreal. The skies fell eerily silent, as the nation's air traffic came to a halt.
I also remember the unusually good manners on the road — so many cars with American flags fluttering from their antennas, their drivers letting me merge with a friendly wave instead of cutting me off and using gestures of another sort. Everywhere, there seemed to be a sense of solidarity, of community, like I've never felt before.
Neither the silent skies nor the return to civility lasted for long.
It is hard to trust a beautiful September morning. I'm relieved that here in the Northeast today, it is gray and rainy.