Yesterday was my first time watching the Boston Marathon. Despite the fact that I've been living in this area for years, I simply never ventured out to see it first-hand. Too much traffic, too much crowding. Yesterday, though, I headed out there to watch a friend of mine run the race. The sun had been peeking in and out of the clouds all day, deliberating over whether to show its full face. When I arrived on Commonwealth Rd, however, it was clear and sunny. Kids were laughing, people were cheering on the runners, and everyone was clearly enjoying each other's company. I could feel that bond building with those standing around me, that bond that comes from complete strangers rooting for a common cause. We didn't know each other, and it didn't matter. We were all drawn together in our admiration for these people who had run so very far, giving their absolute heart and soul to cross that finish line.
And of course you all know how it ended. But when I think of my first time watching the Boston Marathon, I find myself remembering that sense of camaraderie that went well beyond chatting with strangers. Watching the seemingly endless footage of the smoke and terror, I'm drawn not to the images of the injured, not to the explosion itself, but to the images of all of those people running toward the point of impact, doing whatever they could to help. Everyday, average people choosing to stay in the danger zone regardless of their own safety; staying to tend to the wounded, and to comfort the frightened. These images stay with me, and make me proud to live here. What an incredible community. What an amazing place to live.