Simplicity and the Streets of Boston

Comm Ave has quieted down over the past several weeks. The bustling street full of cars and pedestrians has grown still. The stillness is only occasionally cut by a sprint of traffic or a cyclist here or there. Comm ave reflects our lifestyle here in Boston. The days are still and are only interrupted with only a few tasks of necessity. I get out daily, weather permitting, on my mountain bike and continue to explore the empty streets of Boston. The air is crisp and it is Spring. Cycling has helped me experience the city in a whole new light, especially during these times where traffic is thin and the streets are empty. Like many Americans, we go for walks in the daytime and evening to soothe our heads and bodies. We find comfort in the setting sun and the crisp Spring air. We work and live in the same setting, allowing for our roommates and families to see us at work. The days now surround our essential selves. What do we need to do in a day to remain who we are? While I am sure that social media is providing every means to keep us occupied, their gurus cannot fill the quiet here on Comm Ave, or in our homes. My roommates and I work, eat, and socialize together. We keep each other balanced during these tumultuous times. I have gotten to see the other side, the side less seen, in both of my roommates.
I think that with the busy year we have all had, two of us being seniors, we forget the peace and comfort we can bring to another life. We are all eager for the next steps in our lives. Sitting around at night, looking at the Boston Skyline, a cherished sight I hold close to my heart, we remember all the fun we had in our undergraduate times. While many of these memories were not shared together, we find a bond in storytelling and the power of connectivity. It is amazing that we can relate easily to other people and relay memories of fondness. It is even easy to do this with strangers. While the airports are quiet, I remember a time in my life when I was flying to Tennessee and the man next to me inquired about my shoes. A simple remark, a universal one, since we all have footwear and walk as humans. That question turned into a 15 minute conversation with a complete stranger who didn’t feel like a stranger at all.
As we wonder what the world looks like with the varying degrees of COVID-19, we hear stories of protest and stories of people coming together. Back home on the Cape, a coffee shop with a simple mission has become a light that I look to. In Brewster, the Snowy Owl is a young business that provides the freshest roasted coffee in the area. While businesses have been closed to customers, they have been roasting away and preparing coffee kits for all of the First Responders, Police, and Firefighters in the nearby towns. It is opportunities like this that make us think of our own emergency personnel. Who is caring for them in our communities? Have we shown care and grace to another person in this time of distress? Or brightened someone’s day with a smile? I do not know if every First Responder or Police officer drinks coffee, but I can at least assume they appreciate the gesture of this small business. If I have learned anything about COVID-19 and its affect on communities, it has given us a way to become closer without being physically closer. We have worked to overcome our setbacks to still maintain equilibrium in our lives. We will overcome this and go forward and cherish our times together. Some rally to open the country, others sit and wait. Whichever view fits your outlook on the situation, let us remember the way we can help our neighbors and that we should carry no ill will towards our leaders who have tried to handle an unprecedented situation.
We have seen the protests and we have read the stories of goodwill. Which stories do you want to spread?

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