Thursday, April 25, 2013

Today, I walked.

Today, my two red shoes and I took a walk.
As I put them on, I felt a prayer of gratitude; for the reality that I not only had two red shoes, but needed two, not just one.
I've been keenly aware of my increased gratitude for my complete and whole body I'm blessed with. I have two strong and working legs and feet to carry me into my adventures like today.
And I choose to use them.
I choose to be thankful for them.

The Commons was beautiful today.
Who can deny the blessing of walking through a park mid-day, surrounded by an easy company of people, yet content to be completely on your own ~

My walk today had a purpose.
I wanted and needed to visit the memorial on Boylston Street.

As you walk, you begin to see signs of what lies ahead. You see the ribbons...
 ... and the vestiges of 'the week' where all of Boston stopped, and watched, and waited.

You see signs like this in windows of stores all along the walk, giving you a sense of belonging to something united, a community, a friendship of strength and encouragement.

And then you realize you're "there",
 where it all happened.
And it seems such a small, innocent place.

You know, or rather you feel and then you know, that you've come upon something. Because there in the middle of a normally bustling street side walk, there's a crowd of people... just standing and looking. 
You seem to instinctively feel the unspoken understanding that this place deserves an almost sacred berth of distance. People stand in a semi-circle to quietly observe and reflect, not directed by officials or officers, just out of the human heart of feeling it is decent to do so.
And if you're like me, you look down and realize where you stand. You recognize that as you stand and ponder the past events, you stand on the now 'clean' side walk where last week the stones were stained in blood.
I pictured the people.
I pictured the news.
I pictured the reality of it all.
I felt almost rooted there. Not knowing what exactly to do, yet not feeling it was appropriate yet to just leave. Then I realized it was never going to feel appropriate to leave, like I'd stayed 'long enough' to pay my respects and I could now get back to whatever I was doing, or wherever I was going.

And you sort of wanna stand and just look --- remember. Like this woman.

The Memorial
 The memorial has grown so big that they relocated it to just a stones throw away to Copley Square, right about where the finish line stands.

 I added my name to the heart of Boston who'd also signed their love and emotion.
It's an emotional and very quiet place to be.
I appreciated that.

I hadn't felt as connected to the events as I wanted or felt like I should feel. I realized through a series of events and thoughts shared among family, that it was because I wasn't connecting or resonating with the fear of the whole event. I had been spared the trauma of being on Boylston that day, and was close but not right in the events of Watertown. 

After today, I realize just how much I HAVE connected with the running, with the human side of the happiness Marathon Monday brings to Bostonians now that I'm 'one of them', and with the love shown at the memorial.
There was a true spirit of love hovering over this little piece of a place. 

On my walk home, I thought of so many things. In all the miles I walked today, I chose to do it in silence; no music. There was enough to remember and think on.

As I came across the bridge near my home, I looked over the rail road tracks of the train I hear each day as I go about my life. I thought of how, for some odd reason, I always love seeing the sun reflect off of them, even if it's not the cleanest or most beautiful sight to look on. And as I passed, I stopped and turned back to finally take a picture I've meant to take for over a year. Because you never know what tomorrow holds. And I realized I'd be forever putting things off till tomorrow until I choose to do them today. 

So today I chose to act; 
To finally do today what I'd wanted to do for a few too many yesterday's, and had told myself I'd do in a few more tomorrows.

I chose to walk, to listen, to cry with others at the memorial, to offer my spirit of gratitude and thoughts of remembrance and reverence, and to really 'see' the world today. 

Today, I walked.
Today, I noticed and felt with gratitude each step I took, for myself, and for those who can't.
Today, I chose to live and to live in mindful gratitude.


  1. Anne, this as well as the writings of others makes me cry. I am so moved by the good and decent people of the world who react to tragedy with help, kindness and decency. I choose to believe that there is more good in this world than evil.

  2. I feel a little like I've been on this walk with you...for the past several days. Your state of mind and awareness of the present, coupled with the sensitive images you captured with the camera are very moving. I am lifted by the love pouring out from...and upon so many.

  3. Last week I heard a woman speak about how in grief we flush out our heart. She said grief offers the opportunity to let the Spirit fill the emptiness. I can see how that might happen for people who visit Boylston.

  4. Boy, do you sound like your mom when you write. So heartfelt and well-crafted. Thank you for going on your walk and sharing.

  5. Thank you for sharing your sensitive thoughts, Anne. You've made me want to count my blessings and not take for granted each beautiful day.