Day 550: Independent musings

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)

— because of weather reports —  had been rescheduled to last night. Even in an area that relies on and often responds dramatically to meteorological musings, this was unprecedented.

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

IMG_6487 IMG_6488


… 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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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)

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “Day 550: Independent musings

  1. It never ceases to amaze me how much you pack into each day, Ann! You’re an inspiration. Thank you for taking me to the Esplanade for the fireworks via your camera. I did enjoy the 15 minutes of harsh rain with intense lightning – mocking strobe lights – coming from every direction. I was on the second floor of my home, safe and dry, while you were running through the streets of Boston to get back to your car. Who knew? I do hope you slept in this morning. Happy Independence Day! You are free to take it easy today and I won’t be surprised if you go for a 5 mile walk.

    • And thank you, for inspiring me with this jam-packed comment, Kit! And I did get some more sleep last night. I seem to be no worse the wear today, after all those adventures yesterday. And I’ll be taking it easy today, for sure. I’ll let you know, somehow, how many miles I go before I sleep tonight.

  2. Inspiring pics, as always. I agree with Kit, you are a busy bee. 🙂 Have a dry and peas-ful 4th.(Bad Arthur!)

  3. Great shots of the fireworks Ann – Happy 4th!
    Diana xo

  4. Boston’s fireworks are always great, Ann. Thanks for taking me along!

  5. Thanks for sharing your day with us Ann 🙂
    You are amazing with all you get to do in one day.

    • Thanks for this amazingly kind and perceptive comment, Irene. It’s true that I do like to live each day to the fullest, whenever I can.

  6. Thank you for bringing me along on one stupendous July Third celebration, a daylong journey of peas, peace, serenity, no overture, fireworks and a deluge. How do you top that next year, Ann? Somehow, I know you will.

    • Somehow, Mark, I know you’ll top this comment, too, but I can’t imagine how. Thanks for coming along for the rides.

      • After that walk yesterday and shower burst, are you ready to deal with a storm today? It’s actually sunny in Syracuse now. Were the weather scares correct, or could they have had the whole kit and kaboodle today on the river, Ann?

      • It’s raining right now, Mark, and it does look like today’s going to be a wash-out. There were a lot of second guessers, yesterday, wondering why they didn’t postpone it to Saturday, the 5th, when the weather’s likely to be better. The word on the street was that the Beach Boys (and perhaps other performers) would not have been able to make it. And to answer your first question, I’m ready for anything.

  7. Thank you or persevering to get us a glimpse of those amazing fireworks. I’m not sure I would have had it in me! Shows your determination or possibly one thing that always motivates me; good material for a blog. 🙂

    • I don’t know, Sue. From reading your blog, my guess is that you would’ve had it in you! Thanks for your visit today, which I find wonderfully motivating, too.

  8. Pingback: Day 551: A round of forgiveness | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  9. A nice 4th of July with such beautiful fireworks. Thank you for sharing them with us in your lovely pictures! .

  10. Pingback: Day 553: Sail on Sailor | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  11. Gene Phillips

    I hope you were singing in the rain, at least in your heart.

  12. Pingback: Day 916: Get closer | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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