Sunday, April 25, 2010

Memorial... 4am

I arrive at the Memorial well before sunrise. Fifteen years after the blast set of car alarms throughout the parking lot of my high school nearly 15 miles away and my stomach still turns a bit at the events of that day so long ago.

The chairs are glowing with warm yellow light and the water in the reflection pool moves almost silently through the early morning. The light barely illuminates the bronze gates. I stand alone beneath the wall of glowing metal and take a deep breath. The cold air stings my lungs, but it tastes of spring. 9:01am.

I walk along the granite pool. The shimmering blackness invites me to drop any worries or fears as I pass. The water offers to take my burdens and prepare my heart for the day.

I look to my right and count.

168 chairs. 168 people. Only 26.2 miles.

To my left, stands an old elm tree that has seen far too much in its life. The survivor tree... I never would have guessed in the days following April 19, 1995 that the tree would ever make it. Today it is breath taking. Green and full, towering above the water. It is impossible to look upon its shape, so clearly affected by the blast and the days after, and not feel the love of time and humanity healing a city.

Again I stand beneath a wall of glowing bronze. 9:03am. Before turning to step back into reality and out onto the street, I plead with my body. Let me do this. Cooperate with me today. Tomorrow means nothing. Please. Let me do this.

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