Imagine, two random people, in such lonely territory, pulling over at the same moment in the same abandoned spot, both feeling the same spontaneous inspiration? If you can grasp the isolation of the territory, you'll catch an inkling of the eeriness of our being together in that place.
He was on his way to New Mexico and he introduced himself as Brian. We shared our excitement for the nearly supernatural rainbow, both anxious that the rapidly changing light make the phenomenon vanish before it could be caught.
He then gamboled off to capture the rainbow from fantastical angles that would reveal the mood of the place.
As I was doing my best to grab the luminous treasure to my cell phone, another car descended the ramp and appeared in our hidden cove of asphalt and barbed wire. Car doors crunched open, releasing a family of 3 or 4, all gazing at the rainbow, fumbling for cameras and cell phones.
When Brian was true to a complete stranger he'd met on a forgotten road and sent these beautiful pictures, I felt this tenth anniversary of the crashing of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and Flight 93 was the perfect moment to share his artistry with all of you. These photos, this moment on I-40, this spontaneous gathering of Americans, is my memorial anthem for September Eleventh:
What Americans do is pull together with all their faces turned to the beautiful hope that lies ahead, the promise of light and joy, the vision of what we can reach if we just try. September Eleventh stripped us down to our core and what we found was a people who reach out to strangers to offer their strong arm, their skill, their resources, their vision. In reaching out for impossible things, we found the American soul.
Oh beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain's majesty, and for extravagant rainbows on I-40.
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So much thanks to complete stranger Brian Washam for sending these photos...and for sharing the moment.
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