Friday, November 12, 2010

Recognizing a 'Right Place'

From our points of origin to our final destinations, our lives are filled with moments - landmarks displayed on a colorful roadmap, with jagged lines connecting one point to another along our journey.

Some - like graduating from college, getting married or watching the birth of our children - are large cities. Others are small towns, substantial when they happen or for a brief period of time, but then relegated to a fading image in our rearview mirror as we continue traveling.

And then there are those that do not easily fit in either category. They have qualities of each but are also unique.

These are the ones that dot our life's landscape like wonderfully entertaining tourist attractions we stumble upon during a vacation.

Or the old-style diner with the bottomless cup of coffee, the friendly waitress and the homemade pies that could rival your mother's.

By their very nature, they are special. And in recalling them, with the words, "Remember when...," they tend to elicit a smile, a laugh or a genuine warmth.

These are the "right places." And, if we're really lucky, we can recognize them as such when they happen instead of through the perspective of hindsight.

As I stood outside Gillette Stadium on October 31, my arm wrapped around the shoulder of my older brother Marc and in the company of Dan and Phil - my brothers by marriage - and nephews Lucas and Brett, I knew I was visiting a "right place."

The game was special in itself - New England Patriots versus Minnesota Vikings, Brady versus Favre, formerly disgruntled wide receiver Randy Moss now back with the Vikes, with Deion Branch once again in New England attire.

Mix in that it was my first live Patriots game after being a lifelong fan, coupled with a beautiful fall day and the Halloween date - which made the surroundings a freak show of costumed characters displayed regularly on the endzone jumbo-trons - and it was a recipe for a great day.

More special than all of that, however, was the company I kept - on the bus ride to Foxboro, at the tailgating picnic, walking through The Hall at Patriots Place and then watching a thrilling game from our vantage point above the visitors' endzone.

With the exception of my wife and children, these are some of the people I value the most, the ones who help define me and my place in the world.

They are both family and friends, and the time we spend together - while seemingly always too brief and infrequent - is what makes life worth living.

As years pass, I may not remember all the details of the Patriots' second-half rally to victory.

What I will remember, though, is that on my life's map, this was truly a right place.

No comments:

Post a Comment