November 7, 2012
I watched the ING Marathon my first autumn in New York, two years ago. This year, Mother Nature had other plans. Despite the gorgeous fall day, Central Park was oddly desolate. Downed trees, fallen branches. No endurance runners were to be found, or hand-written placards to urge on human resiliency.
Above 96th Street, I noted the usual dog walkers, sports players, book readers, pairs of father-daughters and brothers. They were chasing after bubbles on the west end and playing toss with baseballs in North Meadow, respectively.
At some point I stumbled upon the Conservatory Garden, which I didn’t even know existed. On the map, it’s divided into multiple sections: English, Italian, French. The above Cinemagram should be from the English section, in the region closest to downtown. I sat and meditated there for a while, relieving myself of mental burdens.
It was as if I had unearthed an enchanted garden, only a stone’s throw from my house. As sometimes happens when you behold the treasures New York has to offer, I became overwhelmingly grateful. Somewhere in these thoughts, I was glad of not having abandoned the city when times became hard.
I should like to think this moment of tranquil solitude in the park had been waiting for me all along. It only took me two years to find it, but as you can imagine from the photo, some things are absolutely worth the wait.