The sky is clear blue and the weather is perfect. We can hear cheers from onlookers as we walk toward our spot – the spot where we cheer on marathon runners (whether they like it or not).
Memories of a year ago are imprinted on everyone’s minds, branded in their hearts. We were returning from Istanbul where we spent time with family we love in a city we love. We landed and wondered why we were not able to disembark.
And then we checked text messages.
Two bombs had gone off at the finish line downtown Boston, killing 3 and injuring many. This safe city was in shock. The event would begin a week of heartache, a man search, and ultimately the capture of a young man who had gone to high school with my daughter. The whole event was a picture of the worst and best of humanity. The worst that sin and evil can bring — the best of persistence, fortitude, courage and community.
And the Boston Marathon is back with runners from all over the world. The gifted winners and the persistent others, people with artificial limbs and people in wheelchairs, and a midwife originally from Boston who has made Haiti her home, working to ensure healthy babies are birthed and mothers are whole.
There are changes: Fences erected on the road, barriers that never existed before. Hundreds of policeman in full gear, looking stern and focused, helicopters flying over head. But the spirit of the event is as tough as ever and we watch in amazement the strong bodies of those running.
It is an amazing picture of grace.