Thursday, March 17, 2005

A walk in the park

I came back to where I am staying just after midnight, after a good day of work, playing with my little girl, dining and catching a movie in the good company of my friends. I dreaded the thought of going to sleep alone in my basement room, and the stars were pleading with me to come out to play with them, admire them, join them. I was cold when I started walking down into the botannical garden. This place is a true haven, especially in summer, when it turns into a magical forrest with colors that are uncommon here, secret passage ways through the bush, and a thousand little hiding places where a young boy can curl up and daydream. I found myself heading for one of those places, which I haven't visited in a couple of decades.

Even though the earth is bare, it is frozen solid. When I reached my destination, I had become tingly and numb from the cold, on my feet, legs, arms, hands and face. It worked with my drowsiness to create a state of comfortable sedation.I lay down on my back, spread out my arms and legs, and looked up at the sky. And there they were. These faint but bright, somehow unapologetically pure fountains of light. And I fell into the Now. I saw Time, churning slowly like a towering steamroller, slowly crushing the moment under its unforgiven metal. When I closed my eyes, I could feel myself peeled to Earth, slowly revolving with her around herself, while hurtling through space around our star. It has been a while since I've felt that uncanny feeling, like being glued on your back to the surface of some giagantic ball that slowly turns as it flies through the air.

It might be true, that life is what happens to you while you are making other plans, but it is magnificent all the same. People will tell you that it would be arrogant to think that we are alone in the Universe. That there has to be life out there, somewhere. "Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space, 'cause it's bugger all down here on Earth." But that belief bypassess the simple truth that life is a miracle. Just the fact that you are here is a living, breathing testament of something overwhelming. And humbling. And therefore the arrogance may be in expecting this to happen more than once. Perhaps we really are alone. It just might be that there is nothing out there. That we are it. That this day is it. Today is all there is. The billions of lives drinking in trillions of experiences today, tasting a drop of nectar from their bottle of life, burning moments that will never come back. Just that is a true gift. The stars that sparkle silently down from the void can help you realize how small we are in the great scheme of things, but they should also serve as a reminder that this precious gift, too, is fleeting.

I am writing this with pale blue fingers, aching joints, and shivering hands, but also with an uncontrollable smile on my face, A slowly beating heart, cheeks that my blood is turning red from quickly trying to thaw them out, and with eyes that must be sparkling from having been in the company of stars in the sky while on my walk in the park tonight.

This day is gone forever, but I truly lived it, with no regrets. I promise to try to live the next one as well.