Neighborhoods have their unique look and flavor. Boston’s North End is no exception. There is much activity in the warmer months, from religious festivals to street fairs, relaxing in parks, and strolling along the waterfront. Tourists following the Freedom Trail wind their way along the red brick path, as they trace the history of colonial Boston. Open air markets entice people with fresh produce.
The scene is one of life and energy. Street performers entertain the crowds with their acrobatics and music. The excited shouts of children are in the air. Historic buildings seem to be around every corner, and when the weather is nice, the streets are full of people enjoying the fresh air, the sights, and each other.
There is a sense of connection that I feel, when I immerse myself in these scenes and take in some of that energy, as if I am part of something bigger than myself. It’s similar to the sense of connection I feel when I connect with a worshipping community at Mass, the sense that there is a wholeness that we share that is bigger than any one of us.
Ultimately it’s connection with the Spirit of God in each of us and beyond each of us. Maybe the attraction of neighborhood is God’s way of telling us that we need each other to reach the fullness of what we are called to be.
“Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:20)