15 Times Boston felt like a Novel
Seeing the lighthouse as we flew in. The blinking looked like Morse code to “welcome home.”
The young kid working the TSA desk at head of security who looked at me with a twinkle in his eyes said “this music is killing me! Right there in ‘ee smalls.”
Meeting Peter S. at the Patisserie on Newbury, who struck up a conversation with me while waiting for his wife to return with pastries. He was friendly and warm and nice and I could hardly believe that he would chat with me, a perfect stranger, as if I belonged to the city and his neighborhood.
The lady waiting for a valet by a ritzy hotel who said when the valet appeared, “oh, they sent Thor!” Of course, I had to crank my head around to see him and the valet and I laughed.
Taking a back alley shortcut to see a corner garden, and beautiful choir music floating out of a nearby church. They finished and must have done something funny because the song ended in the whole choir belly laughing. The perfect stranger on the street laughed with them; it was infectious.
Seeing the sun dance against the houses in Beacon Hill and wondering if it was possible to burst from so much beauty.
Hearing the thin, reedy voice of a lady in the metro sing “que sera, sera.”
Watching the weeping willows blow gracefully in a stiff wind at the public gardens. (Note to self: if they can remain graceful in inclement weather, surely I can when things go frightfully). In contrast, the exceedingly saucy squirrels in the park. It was clear as could be they were the ones to tolerate us infringing their territory.
Uncertainly trying to figure out which train to take, and being helped by a man who took time out of his day to say “you look lost, may I help you?”
The lady who ran back to tell me “I knew you weren’t from Boston, you’re too nice” when I took the time to chat with she and her husband at Tatte Bakery. It warmed my heart.
The bartender at Atlantic Fish Co who told me seriously that I had missed the open window of time for ordering takeout. When everybody nearby chuckled with deep appreciation I knew, I’d been had.
The couple at the bar in Atlantic Fish Co who gave me recommendations, teased me for wearing a wool hat when it was at least 40 degrees outside, and made me feel like talking to them was coming in from a bitterly cold day to a warm, crackling fire.
Overhearing two men in round, wire-rimmed glasses and tweeds on the train discussing life and marriage. They didn’t solve anything, but we were all entertained.
Viewing the Holocaust portraits displayed in the Commons and wishing there was more I could do to honor them. Nodding a hi to another lady viewing them who, after a moment’s hesitation, asked me if I’d like to meet a real survivor? I said “yes!” with a feeling of surreal reality and she introduced me to her husband, Aron Greenfield. We took a photo together, and I scrunched down a little so I wasn’t taller than him. He joked with his wife that now she was going to have to stop teasing him for being so tall.
Suddenly, the honor was all mine.
Feeling a keen sense of liberty and pride in my country when standing by the graves of the forefathers. Seeing John Hancock’s signature larger than life because he wanted to make sure King George could see it. God give me such courage.
Click to see slideshow of photos.