I walked through Boston the other morning and marveled at what the heart of my city looks like in deep snow. It was sunny but cold, and everything felt more difficult than usual: streets narrower, hands cold, wind whipping. I crossed Beacon Street and headed into the Public Garden. I passed a bush, empty of branches but full of clumps of snow, and the suddenly-deafening song of sparrows stopped me in my tracks. Every time I notice a bush full of birds, singing their hearts out, I wonder at all the people around me, rushing past, heads down, apparently oblivious to the sound. Am I the only person who notices this music? Sure, it’s not symphonic. But still: it is there, and reminds me of all of life that is invisible to the eye and yet still, asserting itself, going on, making beauty, making its mark.
A smile played on my face as I remembered the early-winter day with Whit, when he’d commented on the song of sparrows in an altogether different (but similarly barren) bush near our house. A sensitivity and awareness whose source I know well throbs through my son’s veins, there’s no question about that.
I kept walking. The sun glinted off of the frozen pond where the Swan Boats float in summer. Snow dusted the back of the statue that marked the gate to Arlington Street. Boston’s most natural season is winter. This is the season of my city’s soul.
Life is beautiful.
The next day was difficult, and I had an overwhelming impulse to sit down to write this. I think I wanted to remind myself that even amidst tears there is so much beauty. As I sat at my computer, writing, dusk fell. I looked out the window and sprang up, moved by the color of the late-day sky. I took pictures and remembered: I am smitten by this world.
I leaned my forehead against the cold window, noticing the pinkish-white streak of an airplane across the gloaming, and thought: thank you. No matter what, this life is beautiful.
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