park time

Today was a free day here in novitiate land. The last few weekends have been so busy with guest speakers, jubilee celebrations, etc... When I realized that this Saturday was free on the schedule, I checked with my Novice Director to see if she would be ok with me going into the City for the day.

And so this morning I awoke early to take the bus across the GW Bridge where I caught the subway. I checked out a flea market, stumbled across a fundraising walk for something or other, and strolled through a farmer's market. And this was all before noon! At noon I headed to St Paul the Apostle where I had lunch with a priest friend of mine. This was my other motivation for heading into the City - he's one of the few friends I have in the area and he's actually moving in a little over a month! It was good to catch up with him.

The two of us took a stroll after lunch through Central Park. It was a GLORIOUS day and as such most of New York and many of the tourists seemed to be in the park. After my friend went back to work to prepare his homily, I headed back to the park. I found a nice park bench, watched all the people and caught up on my long neglected journal.

I had intentions to check out a musuem or two, but enjoying the weather and the sounds/sights of the park was by far the better option I think. I love big civic spaces, particularly parks like this one in large cities. When I got to thinking about it, I decided that places like Central Park are really where we're best at sharing and the concept of the common good in our otherwise individualistic and materialistic culture. Who knows who the people were sitting next to me on the park bench, walking their dog or playing with their toddlers on the lawn. Strangers all, we shared an experience of pure joy today in the park, even if I didn't talk to anyone except the blank pages of my journal.

All in all, a great day. Really a retreat day in the City, with the added bonus of a mid-day visit with a good friend.

PS - I love this picture I found online of Central Park. My house is really in the far top left corner of the picture, just north of the GW bridge in the green part across the river!


Mollie said...

I was at St. Paul the Apostle on Saturday, too! But I missed you by a few hours, probably -- I went there for confession around 4:30. Anyway, you definitely picked a good weekend for hanging out in the park!

Susan Rose, CSJP said...

Mollie ... I was there for 5:15 mass as well. Our paths must have crossed! If only we'd known!

Jack said...

It was 80 out here yesterday. You were (are) missed.

Tom Gibbons said...

I love Central Park - going to be there in a few weeks and I can't wait. Glad you made it to St. Paul the Apostle!