I rolled out of bed early this morning and had the dogs walking down Massachusetts Avenue by 5:30. A jogger ran past and I said good morning.
“Seen any Redcoats?” she asked.
“Not yet,” I replied.
She went on her way and I stopped to think about it. It’s a little odd living along the route of Paul Revere’s ride, and even odder when the town stops completely so that grown men, dressed in Revolutionary costumes, can point cap guns at each other and play dead.
But, I realized today for the first time, the reenactments are an amazing gift. The thought of British soldiers marching along in front of my house made me feel irrationally anxious, as though it were my family really in danger. That feeling of invasion, of disruption—I’m pretty sure that Captain Jonathan Parker felt some of that as he prepared to face the Redcoats.
And the feeling as the Redcoats turned and marched away when our family finally got within sight of the Green, the Minutemen already playing dead, slumped on the wet grass…
It’s one thing to read about and even be able to explain the events and causes of revolution. It’s another to experience them at an emotional level, affecting your neighborhood.
Last note: as we walked up Mass Ave toward the Green, hearing the drums of the British, the crack of muskets, it was as though we were just feet away from history. And then there was a giant boom: cannon. It was indeed the shot heard ’round the world. And next year we know that we have to wake up even earlier to go and see it.
At least the pancakes were good.