I decided that what I needed was a long walk. I decide this often, but something about a view looking out at the river and park makes me feel that in some small way I'm already out there... vicariously getting the fresh air and exercise I know I need through the people four stories below...
Thankfully, a break in my schedule opened up at the last minute, so I replaced my sandals with sneakers and headed out.
Life sometimes has a wonderful way of giving you more than you expect. Those moments are made even more wonderful when you're already expecting great things. For me, a warm, sunny day, fresh air and a walk in nature are about as good as it gets, so to be given more was a real treat.
The waterfront bordering the west side highway is always filled with people- walkers, cyclists and rollerbladers... workers eating lunch, children playing with mommies and nannies nearby, and lovers creatively wrapping around one another. But today, something was different. All eyes were directed to the river, to witness what a paused runner told me was the beginning of Fleet Week.
Sure enough, a parade of boats was starting to go by, just as a series of fighter planes flew in configuration directly overhead. I'm not sure what was more incredible, the ceremony of it all, or the looks on the faces of everyone present... joy and awe.
A man with his daughter on his shoulders offered binoculars, and the moment went from beautiful to sacred... the men and women I'd seen as little white spots mingling on board the nearest ship were in fact standing in rigid and proud salute, to us, the city of New York.
Memorial Day for so many of us, myself included, is a wonderful chance to take an extended break- to enjoy that extra day of relaxation before revving up the real life engine once again. Today gave me pause to remember what this long weekend is really all about, no matter your political views... the struggle for peace, the mourning of loss, and gratitude for those who have served and serve the cause of freedom for not only themselves, but in the hopes that others too may be free.