Do you remember the "Miracle on the Hudson"? I do. Because I was there. January 15, 2009*
I was in Soho, gallery hopping. Heard a whole lot of sirens, more than the usual NYC background noise, and helicopters. Called a few friends and asked them to turn on their tv's to see what was going on, if it was something about which I should be concerned. Note: Obviously an earlier era for cell phones or I could have just asked Siri!
When I learned what had happened, I had an immediate decision to make. Head a few blocks west on foot to watch would I could of the drama unfolding, or get on a subway and head uptown, back to my daughter's apartment.
I headed into a Starbucks. Honestly, it was to use the rest room before getting on the subway, because who knows what sort of delay there might be, and to grab a cup of something warm because baby it was cold outside.
Why do I share this with you? Because I've been spending the first few weeks of this new year clutter clearing. Making those decisions about what to keep and what to pass along to someone else, both large items, and minutia.
My point? Yes... there is a point!
One of the items I decided to keep is this mug.
Because I bought it that day, in that Starbucks. It's not the mug that is special. It's the memory of that day that comes back to me whenever I see it.
What else do I remember from that day? As I was walking east to the subway, I looked north, and saw a police vehicle towing an inflatable boat behind it on a trailer. Now THAT's not something one sees every day in New York City.
Clearing the clutter. Sometimes seems like a waste of time, but for this artist, I find I do my best work when the distractions are kept to a minimum. Part of why my time at the beach house in North Falmouth was a powerfully productive place for me in 2020. There were no distractions of other chores to be done. There is also great joy in finding someone who will take delight in having something of mine that I no longer use or need or enjoy.
One day, when my daughter has to do the final cleaning out of her mother's stuff, that mug will become simply... a mug. For me, for now, I will keep the mug. Because it is a powerful reminder.
A reminder, when we are in the midst of challenging times, that good things happen, too. That people make wise decisions, sometimes seemingly reckless at the time. That miracles happen.
With gratitude, and blessings to all of you.
*On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549, an Airbus A320 on a flight from New York City's LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte, North Carolina, struck a flock of birds shortly after take-off, losing all engine power. Unable to reach any airport for an emergency landing, pilots Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles glided the plane to a ditching in the Hudson River off Midtown Manhattan. All 155 people on board were rescued by nearby boats, with a few serious injuries.