THIS CHRISTMAS DAY MORNING I AWOKE TO 40 degree temps in my hometown of Cambridge, MA. Even though I always tell people I am from Boston I really grew up in the next town over, Cambridge. I grew up on a little street called Inman street, basically between Harvard Square and MIT. All of my friends and neighbors I grew up with were either "wicked smart" or just plain "wicked". None the less, I am still around to tell about such things.
I spent the first 29 years of my existence on earth in the this area.
This morning as I battled a fierce wind on the Charles River during my 90 minute run so many memories and thoughts flowed through the mind. As I ran I looked over towards Beacon Hill and remembered that I spent one whole year working that neighborhood as a US Park Ranger where I was tasked with managing and overseeing a small National Historic Site called the Black Heritage Trail. This trail commemorates the history of the region's first free African American community and their accomplishments. If my memory serves me right Massachusetts was the second colony/state to outlaw slavery, the first being Pennsylvania. One of my jobs was to stand out in front of the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on State street and talk to tourists about the famed 54th Regiment, the first African American fighting unit commissioned by the North to do battle in the Civil War. The film Glory is about this unit.
Later during the run I recalled working as Park Ranger on the Freedom Trail where I was tasked with talking to the public about the origins of the American Revolution and some of the early philosophical thought behind our great US constitution. I remember giving talks at "the Cradle of Liberty", Faneuil Hall about the famed Sons of Liberty and their exploits. My stint as US Park Ranger gave fuel to my idealistic side as it provided me with insight into the greatness of this country and why one must never take the freedoms and opportunities we have been blessed with for granted.
As I battled the wind on the run i remembered countless times as a little kid riding my BMX out on the Charles and meandering in and out between all of the 'dorky runners' and thinking to myself, what weirdos.
Life goes by fast and running is but a reflection
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and so on