I went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania over the weekend. Dirt and grime crawl up the stone of the old buildings. What is admirable is Philly's ability to not cover up its imperfections, but rather highlight them, truth spread across the city for all to see. It's the truth that I enjoyed. The stark reality of the current times hits the traveller with brute force. From the moment I walked into the subway terminal, I saw people taking shelter, their homes now becoming the tile in which I was standing upon. I saw a man lying on a drain in the streets, the rain water collecting beside him. These ill-taken realities are met with the breathtaking views of one of the oldest cities in American history.
I raced atop the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Arts, my heart racing beside that of Rocky Balboa, the song "Eye of the Tiger" drumming in my ear. I overlooked this beautiful land, contrasting blues of the sky with blues of the glass buildings. Contrasting reds and yellows of the Autumn leaves with the reds and yellows of the signs sprung throughout the city. This glorious collaboration between man and nature. As if they were working together to build something so great. The tall buildings were alongside the clouds, both overlooking the land below.
I ate Pat's King Cheesesteaks, ensuring not to make a "misteak" with the competitor down the street. I sat in coffee shops and drank spirits in old pubs. Independence Hall had me relive history. How could a building with rooms so simple produce things so great? Greatness doesn't come from royal grandness, but rather tattered desks covered in papers and frivolous writings. The spirits of men standing up for liberty and justice for all lacquered the walls. I was enamored with the tale and wanted to relive all the lessons from my fourth grade classroom.
The Liberty Bell rang proud. It's crack symbolizing the endless journey to mend the broken and stand for freedom. We met girls from Sweden and decided to venture with them throughout the day. They were here on exchange to help nanny for families in Western Pennsylvania. They were a delightful addition to our party and made conversation lively and new.
A treasured view became my reward as I climbed a fence to view the Benjamin Franklin Bridge over the Delaware River. The freedoms withheld by large bodies of water always tend to attract me. It's endless out there and the water keeps shifting. The water doesn't claim you as its owner, but rather invites you to ride alongside. It reminds me of times spent with my father on our sailboat riding Strawberry Reservoir or Bear Lake, the wind guiding us towards our next destination, not knowing where we'll end up but sure of the excitement that lies within the present journey. Let the water carry me and the wind guide me towards my next adventure.