Monday, April 15, 2013

Dear Boston.

USS Constitution

For the past couple of years, I've joked that when my bum foot heals, I'll be like Forest Gump and run until I can't stop.

Time travel a few years back, pre-broken toe and pre-Stupid Foot, when I discovered Boston with some friends on vacation.

Paul Revere's house
(By "discover," I mean "fell in love." And by "vacation," I mean "my go-to if I ever needed to change identities.")

Even though with this confession the jig's up on my first-choice hideaway spot, hopefully it gives you an idea of how hard I fell for this gorgeous gem of a town. Town? It's a city. Well, a city, and a mere historical landmark of our entire nation. 

Site of the Boston Massacre
Paul Revere's childhood home. The Freedom Trail. Faneuil Hall. Boston Commons. Harvard. The site where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The first public school. The USS Constitution.

You know. A few significant locations.

Not everyone loves the feel and sounds and people and sights of Boston, and I get that. (I mean, I loved it even though it froze my face off, but I may not love running like I think I will, and a lot of people do even when it blisters their feet

First Public School
But I did love Boston. Even though it's been six years since I visited, I'm pretty sure if you dropped me there, it would take me a little while to get my bearings, but I'd be smiling.

So today when I heard that people who are doing what they love and what I am admiring so hard these days were literally jarred by explosions that rocked this place I adore....well...what in the world.
Faneuil Hall

Without getting into the why-does-craziness-occur of it all, Boston? To runners? At the finish line? On Patriots' Day?

Too much sadness. Too much heaviness.

Where the Declaration 
of Independence
was signed
And thanks to having been there (and maybe a few other non-vacation, figurative locations these past six years), I understand there is too much life to live for me to waste the freedom that so much of Boston was originally marked with by letting the sadness and heaviness get the best of me.
The 2007 version of RJ
chilin' with Ben Franklin

I hate with everything in me that anyone wants to rip anyone's freedom away, whether it's a bully on the playground or a terrorist at a marathon.

I also hate that I ever let someone else's wound keep me from fighting for and enjoying my own freedom that is so viciously guarded to this day.

Beacon Hill
Boston is dear to me. Its people, flavors, and flair stole my heart, and I was only there for a few days.

Freedom is also dear to me. I admire those runners for expressing themselves today by accepting the invitation to be among an elite group of athletes who willingly wreck themselves to experience health and happiness.

I hope I will remember the fervor of runners when I'm tempted to give up. And I hope I will remember the freedom Boston memorializes that says I don't have to give up. Ever.

Dear Boston, thank you for the memories -- of that visit, and of how strongly I feel about my country's foundation. And dear marathoners, thank you for the reminder to keep going.

Please join me and pray for Boston.

Happy Feet, Happy Boston - 2007

Harvard Square

Salt & Pepper Shaker Bridge :-)

Quincy Market

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