I drove up to Boston today to take part in the demonstration in support of same-sex marriage. The state legislature was meeting in joint session today to consider whether to put same-sex marriage to a state-wide ballot test. Personally, I don’t want same-sex marriage on the ballot. It would be one thing if the ballot question could be fairly and honestly decided, but that wouldn’t happen. Opponents of same-sex marriage from out of the state would swoop in like vultures to try to subvert our state’s decision-making process, spending huge amounts of money. Money is not democracy. When you’re trying to decide whether or not to remove a fundamental right enshrined in your state’s constitution (in this case, the right to marriage for all persons), you don’t want to say that whoever has the most money gets to decide.
So I drove up to participate in the demonstration. I knew there would be no parking in Boston. I knew that the parking lots at the Riverside and Alewife subway stations would be full. So I decided to try a few secret parking places we have discovered in Cambridge, where you can park within a ten-minute’s walk of a subway station for several hours for free. I drove around for forty-five minutes, but our secret parking places were all full today. And by that time, it was just too late — I had to be back in New Bedford in the afternoon — so I gave up.
On the way back home, I stopped in for a quick walk in the Blue Hills Reservation. The footing was bad:– everything was still wet from last night’s rain, and the wet leaves on the rocks made for slippery walking. I had to keep my eyes on the trail pretty much the whole time: the golden-brown of white oak leaves, the rusty red oak leaves, the golden beech leaves, the wet stones all blue-gray with bright green lichen. The sun came out while I was walking, and the warmth made me remove my coat and tie it around my waist. I walked up one of the lesser hills, stopped for a minute, and I could see Mount Wachusett to the west, Mount Mondanock to the northwest, and Boston Harbor to the north east, with dark clouds moving far away to the east. By the time I got back to the car, I had forgotten everything:– my frustration with politics, problems at work, worries about a family member;– all fallen away, leaving nothing behind but the bare bones of life: earth, sky, mountains, downed leaves, putting one foot in front of the other.