Peace be with you by
(22 Stories)

Loading Share Buttons...

/ Stories

In September 2001 I lived in a country setting below converging flight paths into Boston. On the twelfth I went out to lie in the high grass, to scan the clear sky and to think. The emptiness. The silence. The peace. For this brief moment, the frenetic world I knew had stopped spinning—it was a time-out-of-time to just be.

Flights resumed several days later. Somehow it seemed too soon. Nevertheless, my friend had a commitment in D.C. that had not been cancelled. That evening he wrote me from the Hay Adams Hotel across from the White House. All was somber, the streets were abandoned.

Earlier, he had boarded a United flight. The cabin was nearly empty. Men were the only passengers. Before takeoff the pilot came on and asked them to find each other and shake hands.

Then he said: If anything happens, fight.

Profile photo of Susan Bennet Susan Bennet
I'm so happy to have joined the gracious Retro family. The basics:
I have a background in marketing and museums.
I come alive when the leaves turn red.
I regret every tech mistake I have made or will ever make on this site.
I want a dog.

Characterizations: moving, well written


  1. Laurie Levy says:

    Wow, that’s a powerful message. So much changed after 9/11, and not for the good.

  2. Wow indeed Susan. My heart stopped when you said “on the twelfth”.

    In a way the 12th was worse than the 11th as we awoke that morning knowing the horror, all wishing I’m sure it was just a bad dream.

  3. Khati Hendry says:

    How sobering. The sudden changes, the quiet and hunkering down is reflected in the initial pandemic times. Hold onto those thoughts. If only we could all continue to recognize the value in slowing down and concentrating on the importance of supporting each other and the earth, instead of devolving into infighting.

  4. Betsy Pfau says:

    “Time-out-of-time”. So well stated. “Just to be”. Peace be with you too, Susan. I wish it had to come to the USA instead of the chaos that ensued.

  5. Marian says:

    Yes, the quiet, and the gut-wrenching beauty of a tragic autumn. Amazing story in few words, Susan.

  6. Suzy says:

    Two indelible images in this story: the silence and peace on September 12th, much like in the early months of the pandemic, and the pilot’s statement, “If anything happens, fight.” Unforgettable!

  7. Beautiful, powerful, focused recollection, Susan. A narrative haiku capturing all there was of that moment for you and handing it to us. It brings back the recollection that none of us knew what would happen next. In a sense, we’ve grown used to that in the modern domestic equivalent, Trump terrorism, but then, the future stretched before us, formidable and unknown. Beautiful brevity. Thanks.

Leave a Reply