Beans & Rice for the Soul

teaching, learning and living around the world

Bits and pieces. Life is good in Massachusetts.

I love my daily walk from the Central Square T stop to my office.  This little stretch of Mass Ave is always bustling and kind of… gritty.  It creates this pressure, this reminder… to be aware of people from all walks of life.

And I love that.

But I was noticing the other day that something was missing…

Street kids.
There are none.
Homeless people abound, but none of them are kids.

And today I happened to walk down a street full of children waiting for the bus.
Neatly dressed with backpacks on.

And it hit me. That’s where all the kids are.
They have to go to school.  It’s the law.

And if they need it, we give them free breakfast.
And if they need it, we give them free lunch.

They’re not on the street, they’re in school.
Taken care of.

And I just felt this overwhelming feeling of pride.
There are a lot of ways our public school systems could be better.

But at least our kids are there.
Fed and taken care of.


I also love riding the bus.
Most of the time I just sit there.
Looking at everyone.
Looking out the window.
Listening to the bus driver’s commentary.
Thinking about whatever I want.
Taking deep breaths.

One time I started thinking about Rosa Parks and the Freedom Riders, and I got a little choked up at how far we’ve come.
Whenever people jump out of their seat to give it to an elderly person? Melts my heart every time.
When I hear people talking with a thick Boston accent, I wonder if they’ve spent their whole life here.
I hear people speaking French and I wonder where they’re from.
I see kids wearing school uniforms and I wonder how far they have to go.  I wonder if they have good teachers.
Sometimes I even hear perfect strangers making unexpected conversation. Sharing life tips like how to make a poncho out of a trash bag.

And I’ve started to realize how much I love the ride.
I used to call it zoning out,
but actually it’s more like tuning in.
And I usually get off the bus feeling great,
feeling at peace with the world and humanity.


My worlds have been colliding lately, and it brings me so much joy!  The other day I had a small party at my new place and my bff from college got to meet my new colleagues and all of them got to meet a friend of mine who I know from Goma!  And my bff from growing up recently moved and has been hanging out a lot with Anga and all of our friends and family in Brussels!  And its just so refreshing to have people from all of  these different worlds and phases of my life… coming together. And liking each other!

Today someone asked me, why does that feel so good?  And I think its because anytime you move to a new place it can feel lonely. And you have to start allll over again kind of… telling people about who you are.  Slowly peeling back the layers… sharing bits and pieces here and there.  Sometimes it takes weeks, months or even years to describe enough of your past and the places you’ve been so people can finally GET you.

And suddenly it feels like
with the collection of people in the room
and the contexts they each know me from
put those all together
and its the whole me.

It’s difficult to describe.  But it’s just incredibly satisfying.


Everyone keeps asking when Anga will get here.
People at work have started to tease me… are you sure you’re not being catfished?
(This is the second slang word I’ve learned since moving back.  The first was bruh.)
I assured them that Anga is in fact a real human, and will be here soon.
When I told Anga about it he said, “I think I’m at least a tilapia.”


Overall, life in Massachusetts is lovely.


7 comments on “Bits and pieces. Life is good in Massachusetts.

  1. Lonnie Rich
    October 9, 2014

    Great message.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Alex
    October 9, 2014

    haha tilapia!!! but seriously, great post.

  3. Monica C
    October 10, 2014

    Couple of thoughts. It may have been difficult, but you described it beautifully. I didn’t know either of those slang words, nor would most people I know, and that makes me feel elderly. I haven’t met Anka (yet), but I would be willing to bet he’s more like a freshly caught wild Alaskan salmon. Love your posts, Sara.

  4. mcall0912
    October 10, 2014

    Great post, Sara. Love that you love Massachusetts . . . can’t wait to see what you think of the snow. Don’t forget to reach out to Uncle Mark on Facebook.

  5. Shawn
    October 10, 2014

    Tilapia! I love Anga. And you.

  6. Stephie @ thriftandstyle
    October 10, 2014

    thanks for sharing your friends and family with me! not sure i want to see the tilapia swim away just yet- he’s opened our eyes to so much here!!

  7. Pingback: Why I like real talk | Beans & Rice for the Soul

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This entry was posted on October 9, 2014 by in humanities.
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