On a walk along the Charles River you might encounter an artist painting, a lone man running, or a woman meditating among the sweeping branches of a weeping willow tree. Look up and you’ll see bird formations sweeping across a pastel blue sky. On the water are paddle boarders and crew boats. Breaking the near-silence of the early morning are muffled shouts from motorboats to rowers.
The Charles River, an 80-mile expanse of water, named for a former king of England — by the king himself — is prettiest as the sun sets and rises each day. At these hours, the river feels meditative and restorative, as the woman sitting cross-legged in the weeping willows has surely discovered.
Bridges connect the Charles to Boston and Cambridge. From east to west the bridges are the Longfellow (or Salt and Pepper), the Mass. Ave., the BU, Weeks Footbridge, and the Anderson Bridge at Harvard. Countless more bridges stretch through 23 towns and cities ending in Hopkinton at the river’s source.
Soon the bustling Anderson Bridge, which connects Harvard Yard and Harvard Square via JFK Street to the Harvard Stadium and Business School in Boston, will become even more so with the planned opening of the Science and Engineering Complex next fall.
This river and its bridges, which we’ve traversed many times, have connected us, too. Through beauty in nature, exercise, and social interactions, we celebrate the Charles.