As we drove into the city of Boston yesterday afternoon, T looked around at the crowd of buildings and bridges and roadways tangled in a dynamic throb of activity, and she said, "I can't believe I'm going to live here."
Moving in was quick. Lots of very vocal, welcoming classmates cheered her on as she passed by, preceded by bright-shirted orientation leaders pushing her worldly belongings in vast, canvas laundry carts from the streets to the elevators.
We just learned that a friend from the west coast, who will be attending the funeral today, was leaving his daughter at Emerson for her freshman year as well. As we left T yesterday evening, we happened to run into him on a street corner.
Strange juxtaposition of events - parting, reunion, hope and loss, anticipation and devastation. At our age, at my age, life experience has taught us that life carries on in its messy way. No matter the calamity, no matter the hole in your heart, you do find a way to keep going, and even to return to some semblance of a happy life. But it takes time.
Boston was beautiful this morning. I was surrounded by quintessential Boston landmarks: Union Oyster House, Quincy Markets, Faneuil Hall, the North End, the harbor, a man wearing a t-shirt that said "Yankees Suck." And it was high summer Boston weather - already hot and humid at 6:30.
I was not alone out on the long wharf watching the sunrise. There were joggers, transients in sleeping bags, and a handful of people just watching the eastern sky. Everyone with a story behind their presence. Some hold themselves up, others look weighted down. I was curious about this woman's story, but she was so full of concentration, I thought I should leave her to her thoughts.
With one sunrise gazer I exchanged a smile that held a shared glow of appreciation. It was the first time I have seen a stranger in my morning rounds that seemed to be there for the same reasons that I was. I guess it must be happening all over the world.