There are thousands of people who travel the subway line each day – I like to think that most of them at least glance over to take in the view. When it’s put into such perspective, it’s a mundane aspect of traveling about a city, just a quick glimpse of the outside world before plunging back into the darkness of the tunnels.

I’m sure that, at some point, the novelty will wear off for me. And yet each time I travel into Boston from Cambridge, coasting along on the Red Line, that brief surfacing act on the Longfellow Bridge makes me gasp a little – if only inwardly. That view, spread out on either side of the Charles, is the embodiment of what I envisioned when I thought of moving here. And here I am, taking it in as I head off to whatever events are waiting for me at some T stop or another.

When I was young, my Boston was the skyline and I could never get enough of it. During the commuter rail trips into town for one event or another – Disney on Ice at the Garden, Red Sox games, that rare trip to Mass General – my parents would laugh at the sight of me, face pressed up against the glass so as to get that first peek or last glance at the blue line of buildings in the distance.

Obviously, age has brought with it the understanding of what exists below the towers and turrets. Boston is forever a process of contextualization, whether it be learning a neighborhood here or perfecting a traffic-avoiding travel route there. It feels smaller now, a mass of destination points for coffee, conversation, meals or photo opportunities.

I loved not knowing what the little picture inside the big city was when I was young because it meant that the possibilities were endless; now I’m loving the experience of learning what unfolds on any given day because it means I’m open and available¬†to the possibilities within.

When I have the opportunity to sit back and lower my book for a moment to take in the view shortly before the train stops, it feels like the best of both worlds.

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