04 September, 2011

Unplugged

After loosing power to Hurricane Irene last weekend, I spent that Saturday night (and subsequent nights) sitting on the sofa with one lit candle and a glass of wine. I had opened all the windows to listen to the winds outside that first night (Milton had gusts up to 85 miles per hour). My iphone had finally shut down, having spent the better part of the day going in and out of the car to charge it. I just sat and listened; the wind rustling through the trees reminded me of an oceans' waves upon the shore. 

I've been spending a lot of time on my bicycle lately training for a 100 mile ride in three weeks and typically my training rides are three hours long, three to four times a week. I'm learning to get back in touch with myself, my thoughts and my emotions. I'll be the first to admit, that I spend a lot of my time plugged into the outside world, sometimes neglecting to stay connected to the world that matters most. I've stopped counting the times Isabella has told me to get off my phone and so lately I've been making an effort to put my phone in my desk drawer at 5pm. Trust me that's not as easy as it sounds. 

On September 11, 2001, I was driving up to a job site for a walkthrough in Killington, Vermont. I didn't have a cell phone then and the radio never did have a good signal, so I had loaded my 6 cd changer for the ride up. I will never forget pulling into the dirt driveway and seeing all the workmen sitting around on the ground listening to Peter Jennings talk on one of those worksite radios. I saw that two of them had been crying and I walked towards the group, it was 9:47am. The foreman, Jeff walked towards me and said you need to call your wife. I said what's going on? Jeff, said just call her at this number, and he handed me a piece of paper with a number I didn't recognize. I went into the house to use the phone and Jennifer explained what had happened and that her building (she worked in Post Office Square) had been evacuated. There was no site meeting that day, I got back into my car, opened all the windows and drove home in silence. While my story and memories of 9/11 pale in comparison to the many, many horrific stories that we will all likely hear replayed on this September 11th, one thing I know is that I will be unplugging myself more and more in the future to allow myself to savor the limited time that we all get together with the ones that matter most.
Warm Regards,
Michael J. Lee

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