Things I Know 220 of 365: There’s history here


My first trip to Philadelphia to interview at SLA, I arrived a day before the interview. I wanted to walk around a bit and get to know the city that might be my home.
Walking around without yet having my bearings, I turned a corner and there was Independence Hall. Right there.
My first inclination was to turn to the strangers walking down the street next to me and shout, “Do you know what that is? Do you know what happened there? And they just left it out in the open for everyone to see. That building is where we took some of our first steps to being what we are!”
A moment’s glance revealed that these folks were more concerned with their current conversation (which I assumed to be ahistorical) than they were with recognizing the past Winthrop which their presents were being presented.
I get that same feeling, still, when I visit home in Springfield and am confronted with all things Lincoln.
However imperfect, these places hold my attention as fixed moments in time when the impossible was made possible.
I hadn’t had such a moment hear in Cambridge.
Even sitting in Harvard Yard last week, watching tours of prospective students on tiptoe rubbing the boots of John Harvard’s statue, it didn’t occur to me.
I was in the middle of moving and course shopping and figuring out where to eat.
My present was cluttered.
This morning, it is dark, cloudy and drizzling in Cambridge.
The high temperature is not expected to head north of 65 degrees.
I decided to walk to campus. The walk is almost exactly the same distance I walked each day from my house to SLA.
As I rounded Memorial Hall, among the throngs of other students making their ways to class, the bell of Memorial Church sounded the hour.
I stopped.
I stopped to be in and of a moment.
No matter the work being done here now, no matter the imperfections of the system, I am of this place now.
However tacitly, I am connected to its thread of history.
Christian advised me to keep the “wide eyes” as long as I can.
I think I’ll do that.


2 thoughts on “Things I Know 220 of 365: There’s history here

  1. Some people do not take notice of how fortunate we are to live in this country.  What is worse is that they do not take advantage of the nation's rich history.

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