Norway maple flower bud - April 14 / Day 104

J and I are safe. We watched the Boston Marathon passing through Newton earlier today, arriving in time to watch the elite front-runners then staying to watch the first mass of regular, “average Joe” runners, as we have in the past. Both J and I took dozens of pictures of runners, spectators, and the atmosphere of festivity that always surrounds Marathon Day here in the Boston suburbs, as we have in the past. We watched the race, stopped for lunch, and walked home, as we always do…and then we learned about today’s explosions.

Norway maple bud

Now when I look at the pictures I took today, before the explosions, I feel a queasy heaviness in my stomach, knowing that had we and the folks around us been further down the race route, those pictures could have been very different. Although it’s been years since I’ve watched the Boston Marathon near the finish line, where the explosions occurred, J and I are accustomed to watching the race where it passes within a mile of our house: a world-class event that occurs in our own neighborhood. It’s sickening to think that a family-friendly, festive event–one I’ve enjoyed blogging in the past–is now associated with death, injury, and trauma.

So instead of showing any of the happy photos I took earlier today–photos of local folks, family, and friends cheering for runners, and the runners themselves–I’m showing you two photos I took yesterday, when Marathon Day still seemed like a happy occasion to look forward to and Boston and its suburbs felt like a safe place.