July 4, 2013

Running in Plum Island, Massachusetts on the fourth of July was a series of gifts. The first being that my friend Lia had connected me with a charming beach house to stay in. I woke up happy to be in a new place which, thanks to a friend, also felt like home. That day was also hot and sticky so I hit the roads by 8 a.m. I let the heat and colors soak in, feeling like a small figure in a landscape painting. The bright blues of the sky and Atlantic Ocean wrapped around the brilliant greens of the island marshes. I was in an idyllic setting in Massachusetts on our country’s birthday, awake with gratitude.

I ran down the main island road as cars packed with fireworks, hot dogs and beer whizzed by. The whole island was jazzed for the day’s celebration; I was just happy to be there. Then I hopped onto the gravel streets of beach houses. American flags flapped in the breeze waving me to the beach. At the beach I thought about how much brighter the colors of the East Coast felt than the West Coast, or maybe it was just my Seattle West Coast. Everything seemed more amped up: the heat, the humidity, the people energized for the evening festivities. I kept running, letting it all soak in.

I spent the balmy evening on the deck with Lia’s brother-in-law and his partner. They grilled burgers and made the tastiest Dark n’ Stormys before we kicked back and shared our stories of my travels and their life in Boston. A few houses over, “Get Lucky” blasted from the roof as teenagers shot off fireworks. In those moments of lights zipping across the sky I looked back to the inlet piecing together how I’d gotten there. I’d had the opportunity to meet wonderful new people (who happened to be great cooks!), explore a completely different coast, soak up the sun and run. “Get Lucky” is an overplayed song but I still love it. I’ve danced to it at weddings and goofing around with friends but I’ll always remember sitting outside that 4th of July on Plum Island, amazed that with all the interruptions and hiccups, efforts and fails, sometimes in a perfect serendipity of travel and friends, we do get lucky.

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