Today felt much more like Boston autumn/winter, and my walk through the beautiful area of Beacon Hill was littered with showers and plenty of interesting sites.
She tilted her face, catching the first rain drops as they began to fall upon the thirsty earth.
Closing her eyes and inhaling – slowly, letting her skin savor the moisture in separate, single increments.
It was as if every cell of her body had come alive, dancing with the same electrical intensity as the lightning that surged through the sky.
The thunder, an angry grumble of nature rumbled over head.
In those few moments, she felt joyously alive…
And she knew no fear.
Locked in a spell of the elements… Feeling the storm…
Bringing her peace…With herself…
Bringing her peace… With the world.
I think Mother Nature
Is just a little bit confused.
It’s becoming winter
when the calendar says it’s June.
Maybe she was thinking that
Boston hadn’t seen enough
Of wind and rain and cloudy skies.
Or perhaps she’s mistaken
the East Coast for the West,
Because while we are filled up to the brim,
poor California cannot waste a drop.
Last night was probably one of the strangest nights I have had thus far in my life.
A theatre group on campus that advocates for activism through art hosted an event called the “Cardboard Tent City,” as a way to bring awareness to homelessness in Boston. Basically, everyone that committed to staying the night was given a tarp and a cardboard box to simulate the conditions under wich most of these people must survive. We were then allowed to construct a sleeping space however we wished. I came with 3 other friends, so we combined resources to make this pretty neat four-box space with support beams and everything. We were really proud of our work, if we do say so ourselves!
One of the organizations in Boston, called Shelter Music Boston, also gave a presentation about how they are using classical music to transform the lives of homeless people. They hire professional musicians to perform sets at shelters each month, to bring art and dignity to these marginalized communities. There are other groups like this in New York and Los Angeles as well. I strongly urge anyone interested in music activism to check them out. Their programs are amazing.
It’s April, and here in Boston, that means it is still frightfully cold at night, despite the abnormally mild days we have had. Last night was absolutely frigid. I was dressed in jeans, a sweatshirt, a raincoat, and a beanie; meaning I was freezing all night. Despite being in such a small space with three other people, there is only so much that body heat can do.
Around 5.30 in the morning, we were roused by the shouts of “RUN” and “TAKE SHELTER”, which was terrifying since we had no idea what was going on. Our confusion was answered a couple of seconds later when a terrific clap of thunder shook the ground. That sent everyone into high-speed motion. That was also when we realized we were having some major leakages in our shelter, and that made us move all the quicker. We threw on our shoes, grabbed our rucksack and made a mad dash for the academic building closest to us.
In the end, we were all soaked to the bone after going back a couple of times to retrieve belongings, and absolutely knackered. However, it was an enlightening experience. We had the option to take shelter when the rains came; most homeless people don’t. We only had to survive for one night outside, these people have to do it every night. This certainly changed the way I look at the people I pass as I walk through Boston. I think it has really opened my eyes to what they face, even if I caught barely a glimpse in those few hours.
The clouds were lit from below tonight on our descent into Boston, giving the world an eerie feel. Glowing faintly between the shadowy masses were the lights of the city. Raindrops were illuminated for a millisecond below disappearing back into invisibility, their sparkle matching the dancing trails of stars in the heavens. It was the trail that led me back to here, out of a life of dreams and into reality.
Travel is fascinating in the way that it splits my heart into smaller and smaller pieces. “The Horocrux of Travel”? It seems to me that every place I visit and fall in love with chips away another bit of my soul, until I’m left wondering to whom it belongs the most. Is it the country where I was born? The nation I grew to love after years of study? The little town that stokes the passion for a life more simple? Or is it yet to be?
That is the great question.
It is the reason I travel. It is the reason it is impossible to stop now. What if there is someplace that still yearns for a piece of my heart? Can I be complete without seeing the corners of the earth?
What do you think?
Let’s play a game called Free Association.
What first comes to mind?
For me, those three words take me back to summers in Tennessee. When my siblings and I were younger, we would take our summer holidays at our family farm in Tennessee. I remember spending days running through the fields barefoot, collecting eggs from the chicken coops, and learning to drive a tractor from my great-uncle’s lap. It was there that I met my first horse, demanding in broken child-speak that I be lifted to pet the horse’s neck.
Sometimes, it would rain during the summer. Great thunderstorms would roll across the countryside like waves, crashing into each other with tremendous amounts of noise. Those were my favorite days. The warm rain would kiss our faces and give new life to the plants. Running through the fields was made even better as I could feel the dirt and water mixing beneath my toes. In those days, I didn’t worry about my clothes or what I looked like to others.
After the storms, the clouds would clear to give a beautiful sunset, and welcome the lightning bugs. My brother, sister and I caught jar after jar full of these little bugs. Each day held some new discovery. Each day we spent hours outside with reckless abandon, and each night we would come home to fall into bed and do it again.
That was my home in the summer. What was yours?