Central Park NYC
Originally uploaded by Ronaldo F Cabuhat.
I stood Buddha up again today. I think that's twice I've missed the weekend meditation class. But you know what? The jolly old fella will forgive me because I have had the most beautiful Saturday morning just hanging out in Central Park.
The week just gone was pretty rotten, to be honest. I had been looking forward to the meditation class for the rare opportunity it afforded to sit still, put the week's events in perspective, and decompress. Then it occurred to me that if I got up early on Saturday morning, I could go back into Central Park, walk for a bit, and THEN get to the class. A double dose of meditation, if you will.
I got to bed early last night and awoke this morning in a really good mindset. Bagel and coffee for breakfast, huge bottle of water chugged, and I left the house by 8.15am. A quick cab ride to Central Park and I set off on my 10-mile walk around and around. The Park looks so different now than when I was last here - back on NYC Half-Marathon day in March. Green trees, fluffy squirrels, lush grass - it was just gorgeous. And so many dogs off their leashes - and young kids off theirs too - everyone, human and not, seemed in great spirits.
From behind my chic sunglasses and full face of make-up (of course!), I sweated it out up towards Harlem Hill. As I approached the ascent, I bumped into Flock from work, who was jogging down the hill in a super-fit style that put my strutting to some shame. We chatted for a bit and then went on our merry ways. I was rocking out to my iPod music list and trying very hard not to mouth the words along the way.
10 miles in, I found myself back at the Central Park boathouse and I grabbed a large coffee. I walked a little way to the little lake by 5th avenue and watched a family floating a little electric boat along the water. A few more sips of coffee and I figured I should probably start heading for home.
Rounding the little lake, I saw some chairs set up by the Hans Christian Andersen statue (did I even know that was there before??). Sure enough, the clock was almost striking 11am, and I realised I was just in time for Saturday Storytime. Kids and their parents were settling themselves onto the folding chairs, so I sat on a public bench close by and the story-tellers told their tales. The kids were completely spellbound even though some of the stories were a bit more adult than I thought would have been appropriate. Storytime Saturdays take place at 11am every week between early June and September, and I am sure they are very well-attended. Being a big kid myself, I certainly enjoyed it and would like to come back.
Storytime ended at noon so I figured I would head home. It was already clear that I wasn't going to make the 1pm meditation in Chelsea, so I didn't rush myself at all. I walked most of the way home, but grabbed a bus for the last 20 or so blocks, when my Boathouse coffee and chugged water started to catch up with me.
I really enjoyed my solitary morning, and I don't even care that the longest conversation I'd had out loud was when I ordered my coffee. My morning in the Park was quite enough to erase all the bad feelings and stress of the week that was. I may not have been doing guided meditation this morning, but I think this is what zen feels like anyway.