My Dearest New York,
The more you change, the more you stay the same. Well, not really. Let me explain. I’ve seen you many times before; from a ferry, from the Brooklyn Bridge, from a plane, bathed in the morning sun rays, and with your twinkling lights in the night. I’ve felt your sweltering summer heat and the chill of your winter wind.
I could swear that you have a soul and a heart of your very own. I can feel your heartbeat just walking down one of your many avenues. When I close my eyes, I can feel you moving and pulsating around me. People from all over the world enter our country through your ports. Some visit for a short while, others come for a lifetime. You breathe life into their dreams with promise and welcome. You are truly like no other place I have ever been.
On a recent trip to visit you to celebrate my friends Cean and Gareth’s wedding, I spent an afternoon in Jersey exploring a small park and memorial just across the river from you. The view of the Statue of Liberty is from behind, not so exciting. Come on, no one ever really gets excited to see the back of the Statue of Liberty, right? See what I mean?
In the next few moments, I stood gazing at your world famous skyline feeling far away, yet very close. I’ve seen many photographs of you made by others; I even have lots of my own photographs of you. But in this moment, I realized that I had never seen you like this before; through my heart. When I saw you from so far away, I could clearly see how you had changed. My heart ached again for you but I also felt an enormous sense of hope. In that moment, I was inspired and reminded that even in the face of a horrible tragedy, one can rise again and persevere with a renewed sense of resilience and appreciation for life.
Until we’re together again, my heart will be longing for you.
P.S. Thank you for making it possible for my dear friends to marry and live as Husband and Husband. I love you even more for that!