My heart is back at mile 21 today - today we’re all Boston Strong.
Earlier today I looked back at the two reflection posts I made after the Boston Marathon bombing a year ago (here and here). A strange feeling hit me, like that feeling when you flip back a few chapters in a book. The character is still there, alive on the page in all his glory, yet the page you’re on yields a different voice. A different song, but the same chords. A song of growth.
This past weekend Cezar and I went back to Boston, we saw his film in the Boston International Film Festival, spent time with some great friends, and breathed in the city that brought us close.
I stood by the finish line. Just by myself. I let the vibrations sink in - I felt the energy of that same song of growth fill me. I knew in that moment that we overcame. In that moment I felt the beautiful potentiality of oneness, the skinny green sprouts pushing their way through the ashes to meet the sunlight.
For those who may not know, I write for my corporate blog as well. I wrote a reflection piece: Today We’re All Boston Strong: 5 Novels That Celebrate the City of Boston. I wanted to share an excerpt from the piece:
No matter what city you call home, or what sports team you support, we’re all Bostonians today. Today marks the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, and while there are memories from this day last year that we would rather forget, our hearts remember the pride we have for our country and for the people of Boston.
A year ago I stood at mile 21, a senior at Boston College cheering on friends who were coming through the Heartbreak Hill portion of the race, which winds through our hilly campus. Living on the Chesnut Hill side of Commonwealth Avenue the runners raced past my door all day. Until suddenly everything stopped.
But as I reflect today, I remember the Boston Marathon for what it truly is, what it really means to the city of Boston and the nation as a whole, beyond the darkness of the events that transpired - it is a celebration of human achievement and the spirit of man. I remember the look on runners’ faces as they came through Heartbreak Hill, and the light in their eyes when they saw us cheering them onward. I remember their elation, and the fighting look on their faces, drenched in sweat and still smiling, as they headed down home stretch. I remember the runners, men and women, soldiers and athletes in wheelchairs, giving it their all for the sport and city they love. I remember what it feels like to be one.
Today we send our thoughts and energy to Boston, and to those still healing a year later. We celebrate the city, and all of the athletes who continue to awe us at the marathon each year by defying human limitations.
… So wherever you are today, let’s remember Boston, and the great runners that come to the city every year to redefine what we thought was humanly possible. Let’s remember what it means to be one.
Now as the night recycles back into day, I hope you take a moment to feel the oneness too. It’s always there, pushing through the ash, as long as we take the time to notice it.