I grew up just five minutes from Fort Washington, MD. My parents use to take us every Easter morning for the sunrise service. As a child I hated getting up that early but then the sun would start rising, and that moment when it's dark and it seems like you blink and the sky is filled with light in an instant....still takes my breath away. There were all these people of different faiths at the sunrise service joined together, a handful of ministers sharing one podium for one Sunday morning. And even as a child I could feel how spectacular that was.
Later Fort Washington became this secret place that my friend Amy and I would sneak into after dark and lay on one of the grass roofs looking at the stars sharing our dreams of what we wanted to do with our lives. Feeling so grown up for getting away with sneaking into the park after dark (against the rules) and yet small and childish enough to be easily scared at every sound we heard in the dark.
It's nice to come home again, as an adult, and share these places of my childhood with my children. They force me to look at it in a different light. It's refreshing. It makes my heart light.
If you are in the DC area, I highly recommend spending an afternoon here, in the winter it's free but even "in season" it's really cheap to get in. My boys loved rolling down the steep hills, pretending to shoot cannons and discovering all the hidden dark rooms.
Here is a glimpse of our day at Fort Washington.