Lovely Day

3 Apr

Have you ever walked through Central Park on April 2?

No?  Well, let me tell you something, you should.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait right here while you mark it on your calendar for next year.  And if you’re coming in from out of town, you’ll want to be here by the evening before, no fooling, because you’ll need to be in the park before 8am, in order to avoid the herds of tourists.

Because the most important aspect of being in Central Park on April 2 is the ability to find a pocket of the park where you are completely alone.  Just you and nature and the city.  It’s a powerful, emotional moment, especially if you let the sonic wall that is the park’s birds in full song wash over you.

A secondary consideration to make, if you are planning a trip to be in Central Park on April 2, is that it should have rained the night before, so that there is fog and mist everywhere (this might require a degree of flexibility in travel plans).  It’s also another reason why you have to get up early, so that it hasn’t all burnt away yet.  Because, I now feel strongly that there are two times when New York City is at it’s loveliest: in the middle of a snowstorm (c.f. March Snow), and on a misty Spring morning.

The mornings have been so lovely here that I’ve gone running in the park three times this week.  But yesterday was loveliest.  In fact, it was so incredible, that despite the fear of being late for work, after showering and getting dressed, I went back to the park to take pictures.  This is how I know that the spell is broken by roaming herds of school children and Chinese package tours.  It’s just not the same when you’re surrounded by screaming teenagers and can no longer hear the birds, when the park feels more like Disneyland than a private place that is yours and yours alone.  But the spell is strong.

My mornings spent in the park are one of the main things sustaining me through some very rough days at work.  It’s all I can think about, I daydream about it constantly, even after our spectacular trip to Bermuda.  It’s just so magical, the greyness contrasting with the yellowness of nature bursting back into life, the stillness and the thrumming chaos of the birds.

I love this guys orange foot.

I love this guy's orange foot.

But back to Bermuda for a minute.  What a place!  I think that if we go back next year (and I desperately want to go back next year) I’d like to go a few weeks earlier in the year, because, while it is gorgeous, I think it would be far more theraputic in the very depths of the dregs of winter.

Nature is just at her peak on that tiny island.  The cascading, climbing trellises of wild nasturtiums and morning glories and Chinese lanterns and asparagus ferns and palmettos and this mystery plant and and and… The list goes on and on.

And the water! Oh the water! As our plane was coming in to land, Isaac leaned over and looked out the window and gasped.  “I didn’t think water could actually look like that!” he said.  But alas, we didn’t get much time in it, because it was a still a little chilly (just breaking 60°F) and there was a Portuguese Man of War infestation.  They just washed up all over the beach in their glittering lapis-hued poison-ness.

My one nit with Bermuda was the food.  But I had been warned.  It’s both incredibly expensive and not all that exciting.  I guess after centuries of British rule, Bermudians are just now trying to concoct a cuisine of their own that stretches beyond the backbone of excellent fried fish and plain, simple and delicious Hoppin’ John.

So there.  If the world is getting you down and you need a little happiness, either come to New York and walk through Central Park and let the birds and daffodils cheer you or head to Bermuda and lay on the beach for a bit.

In these trying times everyone needs a glimmer of hope and a little time in the sun.

5 Responses to “Lovely Day”

  1. whitneyinchicago April 4, 2009 at 2:04 pm #

    Beautiful post!

  2. Will B April 4, 2009 at 7:57 pm #

    How do you find time to take such great pictures? And thanks for the ones fro your recent trip – beautiful! Especially the last one!

  3. ann April 6, 2009 at 6:25 am #

    Whitney — Thanks!

    Will — Finding the time to take them is easy. Finding the time to post them? Not so much ;-)

  4. Toni April 7, 2009 at 11:03 am #

    I have walked through Central Park in April, in fact. But I was quite young, and didn’t see it the way you do. Thanks for sharing your spectacular photos with us, Ann.

    BTW, Heather over at http://voodoolily.blogspot.com/ is a botanist and should be able to identify your mystery plant for you.

  5. EB April 15, 2009 at 9:20 pm #

    Exquisite…. as always.

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