We left home last Friday morning (such a gorgeous and sun-lit morning) a little past eleven to walk down to 178th Street and then over the bridge to pick up our cheap New Jersey rental car.
It wasn't until we got to the entrance to the pedestrian walkway and started seeing these signs -- some old and faded; some, like this one, new and I imagine a result of last fall's bridge tragedy -- that the thought of walking across the Hudson suddenly made me want to cry.
Fourteen years ago last Friday a particularly lovely and loving boy jumped from the Bear Mountain Bridge into this same river. There's not much more to say, really. (Is there ever much more to say?)
We walked across the bridge and over the river, and looked south to the Manhattan skyline and the sea, and it was beautiful. We picked up our car and headed north and spent a couple idyllic days meandering along back roads and through small towns with funny names and looking at beautiful flame-red trees and squawking at the chickens roaming the lawn of our bed & breakfast. Then yesterday we drove south and dropped off the car and walked back across the bridge and over the river and home again.
Today, fourteen years since first hearing about Matt Narad, I've been a little pre-occupied with thoughts of him. I have it in my head to make a habit of walking across the Hudson and back every October. It felt good to do it, and to remember him this way, even if at first unintentionally: to stand in the middle of that great vast expanse with the sun in my face and the wind in my hair and my arms held wide and goosebumped with sadness and light.