A Walk in the Park
It’s funny how familiar spaces can change around us. A place that feels like home can become threatening with nothing more than a change in lighting.
It just depends on the hour.
I live near a lovely park. A wide expanse of green dotted with benches and well-maintained rows of flowers along the walkways. It’s the only thing separating my home from a picturesque stone bridge overlooking the river.
On warm days, I often like to sit and read. There’s enough coverage from the branches hanging overhead to stave off the full heat of the summer sun for a few hours. River water cools the gentle breeze that blows through the area, flicking at the pages of my novel. On lucky days, I can hole up in a gazebo and completely immerse myself in two worlds at once — the fictional universe of a good fantasy, and the near fairy tale atmosphere of the surrounding environment.
On other days I run, taking advantage of the clear pathways and the challenge of the sloping terrain. The full length of the park stretches over nearly 200 acres of land. Cyclists and marathoners race up and downhill, and I almost feel like an athlete among teammates. Birds jump into flight as I rush past, and the trickling sound of the riverbank finds a rhythm with my heartbeat.
I love the park. It’s a place for romantic walks and picnic plans. A place for children to toss frisbees and eager dogs to chase after them. It’s a place for families. For community.
It’s a beautiful space.
The difference between beauty and terror is sunset.
The night offers a different sort of peace from the bright green of the day. It offers the peace of leaves lightly rustling in lieu of chattering city voices. The peace of empty, underlit streets. The peace of stillness, punctuated only by the slight movements of the surrounding nature.
Everything but peace of mind.
Every once in a while I make the same mistake. I get lost in a story. I start my run too late in the evening. I lose track of time, and I get caught. Stuck in the…