Today, I had to go into Harvard Square to take my niece's cello bow to be repaired. I figured since I was there, and since I'd paid for an hour of parking, I might as well take advantage of being in one of the most storied places in this most storied city I live near (Boston...although technically today I was across the river in Cambridge). The bowmaker's shop was two stories above the Curious George book store (you can read the fascinating story of the authors here). It didn't take me long to drop the bow off, giving me some time to explore before I had to be back to my car.
Of course I had to stop in the book store and browse through the thousands of wonderful children's books there tempting me. I only bought one, though, and that was the beautiful Beatrix Potter: A Journal which Amazon. com describes this way: "This lavish, illustrated journal describes Beatrix Potter’s life as a young woman in Victorian England as she struggles to achieve independence and to find artistic success and romantic love. Using witty, observant commentary taken from Beatrix’s own diaries, the journal features a wealth of watercolor paintings, sketches, photographs, letters and period memorabilia to recreate the world in which she lived."
From there, I crossed over to Harvard itself and wandered through the famous Harvard Yard (pro- nounced "Hahvahd Yahd" if you are a true Bostonian). It was bitter cold, and the sky had a gray overcast to it, but it was still awe-inspiring to walk through the campus thinking about all the amazing people who have walked those same walkways. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to think that I've been one of them, albeit only for one class. It's inspiring and daunting at the same time to sit at the feet (in my case the bare feet) of the one who wrote the book you are learning from!
On my way back towards Boston and home, I passed by the home of Henry W. Longfellow on Brattle Street (hence the connection to the opening to this post). (Longfellow, by the way, started the first Modern Language Department at Harvard after doing the same for his alma mater, Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.)
While I stood there contemplating the words and melody of that beautiful carol all over again, the bells of Harvard began to ring out the 12 noon hour. Can't get more serendipitous than that!