Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Make Way for Boston

Today, December 16, is the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party when colonists dumped tea into Boston Harbor. By coincidence, yesterday I returned home after a long week-end in Boston. I went to hear my daughter sing the soprano solo in Handel's Messiah. She was wonderful. Her voice brings tears to my eyes and shivers to my spine. Of course, I am a biased mother, but she is getting more paid singing jobs all the time and it makes her happy. Makes me happy, too.

While in Boston we we had the time to go for a walk in the Public Gardens which have been a part of Boston since the 1600s. My husband, who was born and raised in India, does not have the connections to American history that I do so, while he was interested in the history that surrounded us, he did not feel quite as I did.

It was when we rounded a bend in the path and saw the Swan Pond just ahead that I felt the biggest surge of memory. It wasn't that I was picturing our colonial forefathers gathering on the the green grass. No, I was seeing the pictures in Robert McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings.

There, ahead of me, was the island where the Mallard Family had settled to raise their family. That must be the street that they crossed with all of their family in tow. I could almost see the plump policeman with his hand in the air, stopping traffic for the family.

Frankly, I was amazed at how moved I was and how it all came crashing to my attention. The swan boats are put away for the season, but the rest is there. The only change from the picture above is that the ducks were wearing festive red ribbons to help them celebrate the holiday season.

If you have not read Make Way for Ducklings in awhile or, perish the thought, you have never read it, I highly recommend that you give it a try. When you are lucky enough to go to Boston, you will relive this favorite story the same way I did.

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