It’s been two months now since I left beloved Boston.
Given Boston was home to me in every sense; given the amount of tears I shed at the thought of leaving that place; given the time I spent thinking of how poetic a city I was saying goodbye to – I should say that I’ve adapted well to the new home.
BUT… I miss Boston.
I miss the coffee shops we frequented. There was this one particular café where one of the waiters was generous enough to smile at most people but me. Every time we went there, I would make sure I made eye contact with him as many times as possible just so I can smile at him and wait for him to reciprocate. (No, he was not a handsome young man I was determined to flirt with; I usually smile at anyone I make eye contact with and I like it when the other person responds). I kept trying, determined not to give up, all the while entertaining K with my failed attempts. Everyone has a breaking point and it was only a matter time before one of us reached ours. One fine evening, we entered the café, ordered the usual, settled down in our seats and I looked around so I can start my most favorite activity – terrorizing that poor soul, as K would put it. I spotted him. I smiled. And lo and behold, his lips slightly curled into a smile! From that day on our secret game saw its end and he stuck to that grin. He never properly smiled at me, but the shy grin that escaped, the one that he could no longer keep hidden was prize enough. Had I met him before leaving, I don’t know if I would’ve smiled. How do you smile a smile that says goodbye? It so happened though that the last few times we were there, he was not around. And I never got to see how I would have bid him farewell.
I miss the long walks. The numerous times I’ve walked home after work instead of taking the train just because… Trying hard not to sway to the tune of the powerful seaside wind. Reading a book as I walked, but then switching to listening to songs as the sun went down. Watching the full moon rise behind the horizon. Taking a stroll along the riverside; sitting on the bench and dipping toes into the Charles to check how cold the water was. Walking around in Cambridge – the sights, the sounds, the people!
I miss Boston Commons. How much entertainment the squirrels there provided! The skating rink where children gathered around in summer to splash in the water – little feet running around, or trying to swim. Going through the Public Gardens; stopping every few seconds to take in the colors of all the flowers in the spring or to listen to a street musician performing with his heart and soul.
I miss taking the T. I miss aimlessly strolling in the downtown area during lunch hour. I miss the market where I bought flowers from all summer. I miss my favorite restaurants. I miss the bookshops. I miss the evening walks through Newbury St. I miss the museums and the aquarium. I miss going to the North End during the weekends and being amazed at how much traffic that one bakery got. I miss the movie theater. I miss…
I miss Boston. BUT…
Life in the new home has its own beauty and charm.
I wake up every morning to a smile that brightens my day. The other thing that invariably adds color to my day is the greenery…both around the office and home. Birds chirping, crickets creaking, deers and rabbits sharing the trails, fireflies lighting up all around…a nature lover’s paradise! And then there are the thunderstorms – they have gained a special spot in my heart, I tell you. I’ve always loved rain – aahhh, the scent of earth drenched in rain! And, it looks like, thunderstorms double the delight, even though the noise scares me to no end.
Lying on the hammock, taking in the crisp scent of pouring rain, reading a book
and running to find company as soon as I hear a big thunder crash – all this while the other person is busy performing culinary experiments – Bliss! And that is exactly what life has been the past couple of months. Touchwood.
(Oh, did I mention, we have been frequenting one of the best coffee shops here and I’ve found a barista at that café here who refuses to smile? (although this person, I believe, doesn’t smile at anyone). Let the game begin!)