When the sun glows through my window at 5:00 in the morning, I stir with the light and for a moment think that the bedside clock is wrong. Then I remember that I am in Boston. And I go back to sleep. But that only lasts until 6:15 when my eyes and my body and everything about me says to get out of bed and go for a walk because it's not every day that just one block away is the oldest public park in the country.
Although the Boston Commons was not formally incorporated until 1837, the 50-acre plot was set aside as military training grounds in 1634. Knowing that delights me to no end as I stroll through the park, looking at the giant Willows and Chinese Maples. How often is it that I can stroll past a cemetery established in 1754, 22 years before the 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence and became states? Thin slate and stone grave markers dot a small hill, informal yet stately still. I walk on, wondering about a woman named Sarah who died in 1800.
There is something about Boston that I'm never quite able to describe. Big city, indeed, but without the temperament. Small town charm, but without the small town. Saturated in history, humming with the present. Charming, to be sure.