I know this may seem weird but I’ve been researching “dust devils” today. Eleven years ago was the 1st anniversary of 9/11. We all remember the somber, heart felt ceremonies that were taking place in New York. The wind was whipping down the avenues with a fury of it’s own, making it hard to hear over the static on microphones. Yes, there was a lot of electricity in the air that day.
Before Mom broke her hip, we had a long tradition of going for a drive in the country. We would enjoy the fall scenery and have lunch at an inn. I recall driving down from New Milford on 9/11 in 2002 , just as I was on the same path again this afternoon. (Sadly, this time I was without Mom as she was home with our hospice aide.)That’s when an eerie memory came flooding back to me: On the road down through Newtown CT there were over a dozen of small dust devils- no taller than a person crossing the road. They had caught up debris of leaves sticks and dried grass. I was afraid to drive through them. I didn’t know what they were or what was happening. I just kept hitting my brakes. I’ve never seen anything like it before or since. It was as if we were in some sci-fi movie. Mom was very observant and vocal back then. She said: “The souls trapped in the twin towers are finally free.”
I was shaken by the time I reached the Mobile station. I thought for sure I was having a bad dream when the filling station attendant said: “Did you see that? I’ll be damned if all these little tornados weren’t crossing the road. Then a big gust of wind came along and took out the power. Sorry– pumps are down. No gas.”
Here’s what WikiPedia says about dust devils:
“A dust devil is a strong, well-formed, and relatively long-lived whirlwind, ranging from small (half a metre wide and a few metres tall) to large (more than 10 metres wide and more than 1000 metres tall). The primary vertical motion is upward. Dust devils are usually harmless, but can on rare occasions grow large enough to pose a threat to both people and property.”
I will always remember witnessing this phenomena on that very dramatic day. Maybe Mom was right? Maybe they were spirits of some kind. I wish I had a smart phone back then but these images are the best I can do for now. These photos are from out west, not New England which only goes to show how rare of an event that was.