Yesterday — July 3, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts — was a day of independent ideas, thoughts, and actions. And I experienced many things, with very little sleep from the night before.
I shall do my best, the morning after, to communicate some highlights here.
First thing, after waking up, I discovered the giant July 4th Boston celebration
(image found here)
As I was walking to work, sleep-deprived, this independent thought popped up:
Hey! I’m parked downtown! Maybe I should take advantage of that and go to those amazing Boston fireworks tonight.
I wondered if I would be up for all that, after working my typical 10 to 7:30 PM Thursday, including individual therapy and two groups.
Wait and see, I thought. With the unexpected scheduling of the Independence Day festivities — and the accompanying closings of major access roads to the hospital where I work — lots of people might cancel their appointments.
Sure enough, my usually noisy and populated walk
… was exceedingly empty.
No matter what might ensue that day, however, I was already very tired. And getting to the fireworks — in the dark and at a distance — would definitely take some independence and effort.
Just allowing for the possibility of fireworks in the evening, though, helped me see fireworks in other things.
Throughout the day, some people cancelled, expressing concern about transportation to the hospital. Other people showed up.
In the afternoon, I discovered these in the mail slot outside my door.
Perfect, I thought, although I had no idea who the generous donor was. But realizing that anybody could have given them, I saw people differently.
Between my two groups, I discovered who the independent thinker was, who had deposited inner peas in my mailbox.
That’s Mark, another therapist where I work, in one of the first photos I ever took on my iPhone. That name-tag Mark’s wearing tells me I took that photo on the day Mark co-facilitated a group with me, almost two years ago.
Yesterday, Mark helped me do my groups again, by giving me that gift of inner peace.
Around 8:30 PM, I decided to make my way down to the river, to see the fireworks.
My working plan was to get to the Massachusetts Avenue bridge. That seemed like a good vantage point for viewing the fireworks. However, that way was blocked:
The police told us we needed to follow the open access road towards the festivities, and then cross to get to the Charles river. This would involve a longer walk for me, than planned, but I kept going. I mean, I’ve seen the Boston July 4th fireworks, on other spontaneously independent pilgrimages before, and they’re pretty spectacular.
Here’s what I saw, as I made my way to the river:
I found a place to sit, on some rocks, near the river. There, I could watch, in peace, and listen to the Boston Pops and the Beach Boys, too.
Then, they announced that they had to start to fireworks early, because of warnings from the weather people. No 1812 Overture! Also unprecedented, I believe.
As the fireworks began, I moved my vantage point, to get better views.
And then it was over. I walked back, retracing my steps, to my car. About four blocks before I got there, the skies opened up, with a kind of rain I never remember experiencing before. I heard adults and children, screaming, as I was soaked through, in a flash.
I saw others taking shelter. I figured, what the hell, I don’t think I can get much wetter than this. So I kept moving, independently, through the pouring rain.
There was a moment when I had this thought, “You might catch pneumonia!”
Next thought: been there, done that.
Thanks to Mark, to independent thinkers, to people who gather together for fireworks or therapy, to those who strive for inner peace (or peas), to beautiful Boston (including the Pops), to Beach Boys everywhere, and to you — of course! — for finding your way here, today.
Right after I published this, I asked myself, What’s missing here? This came to mind:
(found on YouTube here)