First off, I should tell you I am not currently in Boston. I left last night and came to my childhood home in New Jersey. I needed to find calm. I haven’t found much of it yet. I went to bed when the news of an MIT shooting first broke and I thought, “weird, I wonder if this has anything to do with them”. I hoped it did and it didn’t at the same time. I hoped it was so this would come to an end. I hoped it wasn’t because I hoped it was nothing and just a scare. I was wrong on both counts.
Either way, I’ve come home. I had been feeling a little homesick in the days leading up to this week and decided last night to come home a little spur of the moment. I did that a night in February 2006 not knowing my mother would pass away the next morning. I escape only to find more troubles.
I woke up to a flurry of text messages about what happened last night and this morning. Then I drank 4 cups of coffee watching the news, twitter, and Facebook. At noon I had to get out. I came here for calm and was getting even more worked up.
I went for a run in Allamuchy State Park along and old railroad track. I love running here. It’s peaceful with several rivers and streams trickling through rocks. I used to go hiking with my grandfather in these woods. They haven’t changed at all. My first mile was 6:26. Way too fast. So I stopped and realized I was running for all the wrong reasons. I was trying to prove something. Trying to run my mind out. So I slowed down and settled in. The next three miles all hovered around a comfortable 7. Back at the car I walked down to the river and splashed my face with the cold, cold water and then came home. I sat down at my dock. I’m going out with friends tonight. This will be ok.
I thought about a few things, though. I know after this people may question the safety of Boston. Boston is safe. I still feel more safe there than anywhere else. Only in Boston would the police selflessly throw themselves into a search like this. Only in Boston and Massachusetts do I know the politicians generally care about their people. My city is locked down for the sole purpose of safety and I know my friends and family in Boston right now will be safe when this is all ends. The simple fact is evil can happen anywhere. These people are few, especially in Boston. The good are legion, they are many and far more powerful and brave than those insignificant few who manufactured all this on Monday for some still unknown reason. Though I am at one home, I look forward to returning home and continuing my wonderful life there.
The second is this, particularly if anyone from the BAA reads this. Make next years marathon bigger and better. Allow more to run and experience how pure and good those 26.2 miles are. But here’s how: allow more charity teams and make those teams even larger. Let the presence of those who want to try their bodies and minds in a marathon for the benefit of others overwhelm the course. Competition is a great and wonderful thing, but the good fostered by the charity program cannot be discounted. Let all of us who work toward that finish line of several fronts an expanded opportunity to inflict good through the marathon.
My last thought is this, it is a quote from Massachusetts native Stanley Kunitz’s poem The Testing Tree, and it has helped remind me that difficult times will always end – even in the darkest of those times:
In a murderous time,
The heart breaks and breaks
And lives by breaking.
It is necessary to go through dark
And deeper dark
And not to turn.