A visit to Central Park

My hands are all “wired out” and that’s in the literal sense.  I have been practicing working with household wire which have strained my hands no end over the last couple of days.  I just had to give it up for today, and I think I will give my hands a reprieve from the tugging and the pinching and put away the wire for now.  It can get very addicting to the point of not listening to my hands screaming for a break — and just switching the finger against which the pliers rest. ( End of craft report.)

Here I am preparing for another week ahead.  I’m trying to make a mental note of the things I need to do during this week.  I haven’t even hit Monday yet and here I am finding myself wishing there were 8 days instead of 7, and 30 hours instead of 24 to each day.  It’s that familiar feeling of trying to pull the calendar to a slower trot as it heads towards the end of the year.  It’s Halloween next Saturday, and soon, Thanksgiving will be here. 

The weather has been rather fickle-minded, cold one day and almost spring like the next.  We were blessed with near 70s weather last Thursday and while I could’ve opted to work from home, I dropped by the city and came in, just so I could take a walk in Central Park later in the day. I had wanted to check out if my favorite autumn canvasses were already up.  Not quite.  I had missed out on visiting Central Park in the spring, and with the fleeting colors of autumn, I wanted to see if I can catch the landscape as autumn was creeping in, and then come back to view it in full splendor.

I was lucky enough to have had that chance last year when I visited the park in October and then in November again.  (Click on the links to view my pictures of Autumn 2008).  The way mother nature paints and ushers in the changing of the colors of nature when the seasons come and go reminds me that time goes by so fast.  If we don’t grab the moment, it will be gone and there is no way of getting it back.  I remember my regret in not having snapped up pictures of  a favorite tree here in the neighborhood because I told myself it wasn’t going anywhere and I could come back a few days later. I did go back — but to a different combination of hues of the season.  So much can take place overnight that what was once a fiery crown of autumn leaves might be but twigs and branches tomorrow.  Lesson learned. 

While I would’ve wanted to linger, I had to walk through the park in a more purposeful stride, entering through Columbus Circle towards the Bethesda Fountain and then heading back through the Central Park Zoo and out to 57th and 5th Avenue to catch the express bus home.  The landscape was still mostly green.  There were patches of yellow and orange but the park is still in transition.  The ground is not yet carpeted with autumn leaves.  That will probably happen in a week or two. 

I enjoy visiting with Alan and Angelo but there is something special about walking through the park alone.  It allows me to experience the park in a more personal way, the way I want to.  Whether I am walking at a leisurely pace or trying to cover as much ground in as little time as possible, I see the park in a different light when it’s just me and my camera.  There are still many parts of the park that I have yet to find and explore.  I have yet to reach Belvedere Castle, and I rarely get as far as Strawberry Fields where the mosaic dedicated to John Lennon with the word “Imagine” can be found — a corner I’ve seen only three times in the almost ten years I’ve been here. 

No matter how many times I walk back and forth through The Mall, I always find its canopy of giant elms breathtaking, whatever the season, whatever time of day.  And for the first time, I spied the park bench donated in memory of the late Jim Henson, and on it was inscribed: “TO THE JOYFUL  LIFE OF JIM HENSON WHO LOVED THIS WALK IN THE PARK.”  I can relate.

There is always so much to discover and there is much to go back for.  That’s the perpetual tourist in me — and I’m already making a mental note to go back to the park soon.

Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, viewed from the Bethesda Terrace
Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, viewed from the Bethesda Terrace