Judah and I walked through the Boston Public Garden; he'd never been. So quiet. The birds and squirrels are not shy there; we stopped several times just to study them up close. A young man in BDUs stopped once, too, to hang out with us and a squirrel. ***
One crow decided that a particular bush was his, and declared it to be so in no uncertain terms. His feathers were gorgeously iridescent. We watched him for a while; so did an equally-amused older woman.
The magnolias are in bloom along Comm Ave. We walked down the median park. We were the only ones there, save a scattering of joggers and yellow-vested policemen at every corner. The trees had gone into full spring blossom overnight, deep pink shading to ivory against the brownstones.
Boston is full of beautiful old churches.
I am not a member of any church or any religion that uses churches for any reason. But they are beautiful, and I needed quiet. That sounds strange - needing respite from the silent streets of my city. But I've been running at top speed; Monday was supposed to be my day off to slow down and curl up with a book. I have so much Too Much. So when Judah and I turned onto Newbury Street and saw that the church we'd been admiring, right across from the police barricade, was open - I dragged him in.
We walked lightly among old wood and Tiffany windows. We sat in silent meditation. We lit candles.
When we emerged, we paused - recalibrating from the darkness to the light. And across the street, we heard the first soaring notes of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".
Judah held me as we watched a solemn procession: A man playing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on the saxophone, followed by a man wrapped in a silver shock blanket and holding an American flag. The street was near-deserted - just us, the cops, the military, and this procession.
We walked down the street, walked the perimeter of the crime scene. We skirted thick knots of news vans and clusters of cameras and journalists; we moved through blocks where we'd only see maybe two people, one recounting their where-I-was story for the other. Eerie silence otherwise.
We saw runners in their blue and yellow jackets. Everywhere we went.
The saxophonist played the national anthem.
We stopped at the reflecting pool at the Christian Science Center. We sat. We talked about our Boston, about what we loved. We planned what adventures we'd have next.
There was no traffic. There were no cars. No honking horns.
Nearby, we heard helicopters.
We went to Diesel for coffee, and met a friend for a dinner planned before Monday, before the bombing.
On the way back to his car, we saw a post-it note on a store window.
It said, simply, "You are safe."