If you’ve ever taken the time to notice, parks are places that are inter-generational. Looking around, you can see elderly couples talking among themselves on the benches, feeding the ducks, or walking around in their cute little jumpsuits; young adults are sprawled across the lawns basking in the sun next to their picnics, hand-in-hand with their lovers; and the little kids are frolicking across the playground riddled with woodchips and hopping and screaming across the monkey bars and jungle gyms.
Parks are also a place to reflect, contemplate, relax, and be one with nature—it’s a serene experience, and I encourage more people to take the time to just go sit in a park. Something about nature allows you to think with a clear head. Perhaps it is the crystal blue sky, or depending where you are, the smell of the earthy odors emanating from the lakes, or the cool breeze kissing your skin—it’s sensory overload but in the best way possible.
Yesterday evening, sitting on 9th Street Park, I was contemplating a lot of things. Nothing about yesterday was going right in my job, academically and socially, but I found myself becoming grounded. While my head was in the clouds, I was focalizing on what was going around me, and it was bringing me back to reality.
I remember taking a deep breath and smelling the cool air around me. I remember it being such a nice spring day and felt the sun beaming on my skin. I also remember it being really warm, and I could feel myself sticking to the bench as I started to sweat. I remember looking around and seeing students and professors walk by and saw other people seated next to me. The grass was saturated with green hues, and the Victorian houses were solitary in their vintage allure.
But I remember feeling alive and present and that whatever I was worrying about would pass, and I would be okay. It was very much a Carol moment from Paris Je’Taime.