In this world, you are afforded only so many great loves. Perhaps it is because the energy required to sustain that level of adoration is exhausting. Or perhaps it is because soul mates are infrequent and only surface in a few forms throughout your life. But it is certain that when we are met with that mate, it is instantly recognized and never forgotten. I can count on one hand the number of great loves I’ve had in my life, and DC is one of them.
Scott and I spent a whirlwind 24 hours in our city, never-mind the 14 hours it took round-trip for that single day of pleasure in DC. After 5 weeks away (what is it with all of these numbers??) my heart was aching for a glimpse of the monuments and the streets of Old Town. I hope the missing gets easier, as I am told it does, but it’s been a difficult transition and a reminder that DC is always there for quick rendezvous was exactly what I needed.
I wasn’t prepared, though, for the surge of emotion that overwhelmed me as we approached the district. I sat leaning forward in the car, craning my neck for the sign that we arrived. The moment the Washington Monument came into view, tears erupted and I found myself shaking in excitement. That’s how you know you have found one of your greatest loves.
The highlight of our visit was spent at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. As I walked through, I again was stricken with raw emotion and could only think, “it’s about damn time.” For my students, my friends, the entire country of people who have been fighting for centuries to be acknowledged and accepted as equals – I hope this museum is able to impact others as much as I was in just minutes of walking through the door. I am dedicating an entire day on our next visit just to lose myself in the exhibits and read every possible word. Please, if you can, go.
We saw friends, we indulged in great drinks at Magnolia’s on King in Old Town and had a good meal at The Partisan in DC.
But we capped off our evening with a night stroll through the monuments, probably my favorite thing to do in DC. It’s magic, the lights reflected in the basin and the grandeur of the statues erected to memorialize our past. Takes my breath away every single time. I held Scott’s hand, walked in silence, and said silent thanks for my time in such a beautiful place.
But as I sit here, gazing out at the land of my little farm and the gray haze that always accompanies a rainy day in the fall, it’s only here that I feel closest to who I really am. So I will ground myself in WNY, and know that I can always escape for an affair with my other great love.