Pin It I walked along the wharf eating a warm Cinnabon.
The surf crashed against the retaining wall as the cool wind—a welcome change—blew in my face as the gulls rode gracefully over the rolling waves on eddying air currents.
I quickened my pace, scattering a flock of pigeons who’d been strutting along, heads bobbing as if to say, “Look, I belong here and you don’t—you’re just visiting, thank you very much.”
I turned on my iPod and slipped into my earbuds, pulling out my willow-colored notebook and jotting down a few observations as I walked, feeling invigorated with life itself to the sweet tones of Vertical Horizon.
The Cinnabon was consumed, fingers licked clean of the sticky, cinnamony, sugary, goodness which had been left behind.
The line to board the schooner was relatively short, and in a manner of minutes I found myself on my way to visit Lady Liberty.
As the vessel moved closer to the small island, the statue grew larger, rising up like a testament to freedom. I changed the music on my iPod; Neil Diamond’s “America” flooded my ears—the imagery it created in my thoughts was intertwined with that which I was now seeing.
It was magical.
I have no words.
To catch a glimpse of what the immigrants to this country had seen as they ended their perilous voyages from their varied countries was amazing; to see this monolith holding aloft her torch must have been a breathtaking sight for many of them. After all, it was for me, and I live in 2009—an age of computers and technology.
I walked the grounds.
I drank it in.
I was stirred.
I stayed, and then continued my journey to Ellis Island.
I must admit that in reality there are truly no words which can convey what I felt as I traveled to that next little island and stood in that vast anteroom. Something came over me—which comes over me yet again as I pen these words to the page before me.
I called my dad.
I felt tears pulling at my eyes—tears for those who’d come before, knowing what it must have felt like for the millions who’d passed though this portal years before my time.
When I thought of some of my own ancestors walking in this same space that I was now—separated by the span of a hundred or more years—it was a humbling experience. I will always be grateful for that feeling I had standing at Ellis Island; a feeling which I will never forget.
I remained on those grounds nearly the entire day; wandering, reflecting, reading, and just being. I could have stayed a lot longer.
When it finally came time for me to go, I feel like a piece of me was left behind.