Friday, August 17, 2007
There's just something about Buffalo...
Yesterday on the subway, Tom and I sat behind a dad and his 11-or-so-year-old son and, not being certain which stop to get off for the Bison baseball game, I told Tom that we should simply follow this father and son because, most likely, they were going to the game, also. The son wore a baseball cap and resembled every kid you'd ever seen at a movie baseball game.
So we got off the subway when they did, but alas! I guess they weren't going to the game, because the stadium was still two blocks away. But call it a mistake? No way. For Tom and I walked along those two blocks to the beat of an amazing rhythm and blues group who played to well-dressed, released-from-the-office crowds in front of the bank for the daily lunchtime concert. They were sooo great, creating a soundtrack for our stroll past happy people and even tables for the Thursday Farmer's Market, with rows of bright gold and green and red fruit and vegetables.
And every few feet there stood busy hot dog vendors, and yes, we succumbed and ordered hot dogs. We slathered them with mustard then sat upon a short wall amongst trees resembling a city orchard, an orchard growing out of concrete, with people sitting upon benches beneath them. Couples eating together. Friends smiling, talking with heads bent close. Laughing. Oh, everyone was in such a great mood with all that music and the hot dogs and sodas and the gorgeous weather.
When I first, 14 years ago, got off the plane to come live here in Buffalo, I felt in my heart that the people here were singing and dancing in the streets. And yesterday--not for the first time, either--I saw it with my own eyes there in downtown. As I said, there's just something about Buffalo.
Yesterday Tom and I, both, felt we'd been invited to a party. And something else? I felt I'd glimpsed a tiny bit of Heaven. For here were streets where people danced and sang and laughed and ate or just walked or sat with smiling, grateful eyes. At least, I'm sure those of us who were free on the inside felt that way as we watched every activity on the outside.
After all, that's where freedom must always begin--on the inside. From there it colors everything seen with the eyes and felt with the heart. From the inside, freedom spreads like music played so all can dance and celebrate.