If you asked me what I did last weekend, I would tell you that we drove to Philadelphia for a British soccer game.
I would also tell you that before we got to Philly, we stopped at Jim Diamond’s log cabin in the woods.
Jim and my husband (another Jim) met in the late 80s in Swaziland (now Eswatini). The former Jim was there for USAID and my Jim was there as a PeaceCorps volunteer. They stayed in touch over the years (Christmas cards) and this was the first time I would meet Jim and his soon to be wife, Sue.
Jim is 85, and Sue is 70. They are happily living on 40 acres of land with hay pastures, wild wineberries, a running creek, and forests all around. Jim showed me his impressive broom and bell collections from around the world. Sue told us the story of how they met over sauerkraut-making. They are getting married in October.
I would also tell you that we met Denis and Doris for lunch in Philadelphia’s Chinatown the following day. Denis was Jim’s college track coach back in the mid 80s. They, too, had stayed in touch and I have loved spending time with D & D before. We reminisced about the old days, they asked about our kids. We shared stories over Singaporian noodles and Philly’s famous Bassett’s ice cream.
Before we finally joined 65,000 other soccer enthusiasts, we ran into Dave Matthew’s fans just ahead of the Chelsea FC peaceful mob. How do people know where to find musicians’ and athletes’ whereabouts is beyond me! Walking through the cheering crowds was an experience in itself, I’ve got to admit.
The British Premier League soccer game (Chelsea vs Brighton) delivered an exciting 4-3 game. Because I was not really there as a fan of either team, I allowed myself to witness the hubbub around me. There was a lot of love for each team; the energy (joy and disappointment) was palpable. I participated in the wave for the first time and enjoyed my dinner of soft pretzel and yellow mustard. 🥨
On the drive back to Ohio, we stopped at the memorial for flight 93. I did not know what to expect, and did not think that I would actively relived some of those memories of 20+ years ago. The stories of the day, of the flight, of the 41 lives lost moved me beyond belief. It was worth the detour. It was for sure worth the re-living albeit a somber one.
In retrospect, if you asked me what I did last weekend, I would tell you that I went out of town to experience all the different ways that humans can love.
I went out of town to love and be loved by our friends, old and new.
I went out of town to witness the love we have for people who touch us with their talents and performances, be it through music or sports or other attention stopping mediums like the iconic LOVE statue in the heart of Philly.
I went out of town to remember that love can look like courage and sacrifice; that we can love and feel love for people we’ve never met before; that we can have love for people who are no longer here, even if we never knew them.
I went out of town to be reminded that love is the single thread that connects us to each other, and to ourselves. 💖