Note to Self (130) Shelter #NewYorkCity

I needed to get out and take a walk. I started pacing through the streets, seeking my oxygen, my freedom, my sanity. I couldn’t stay inside anymore.

I was suffocating.

I hit the crowd of commuters but didn’t mind them coming at me like an angry river wanting to sweep me away. I swam upstream with all the strength I had, always looking at the line of trees ahead of me.

Nothing could distract me from my goal.

I had to get there as fast as the wind so I could feel whole again. I needed to get rid of the poison that cluttered my mind, all the bad thoughts that accumulated all day and I was eager to throw out.

I was so close, I could almost touch the grass.

After moving up eighteen blocks and two avenues, I finally entered my sanctuary. The sound of the City vanished and I found myself alone. The sun set behind the skyscrapers on the Hudson and the sky turned pink, then purple, and finally blue.

I started my pilgrimage.

I passed a squadron of joggers, a few dog walkers and mostly solitary souls like me who sought shelter far from the stress and the agitation of New York City. We all had a purpose. We all knew where we were going. As if a spell had been cast and a little voice told us to stroll along the empty alleyways next to Alice in Wonderland and her big mushroom of a throne so we could find what we were looking for. The lights of the Metropolitan Museum shined behind the foliage and I peeked through the windows at the statues in the main hall, but after a few seconds I felt too much like a voyeur so I stopped watching and resumed my quiet walk.

I listened to the silence.

I let the cold air whip my face and push me forward in my quest for balance.

I loved being there.

I couldn’t believe the beautiful scenery that was surrounding me. The water in the Reservoir reflected the sky like a perfect mirror of silver and gold. I caught my breath and thanked God for giving me the chance to witness so much beauty.

I kept walking but the night fell fast.

When I exited the park, I passed a few joggers still brave enough to defy the darkness. I turned right and moved up Fifth Avenue then right down to First where my building was located.

I finally crossed my threshold and felt at peace. All the negative thoughts were gone.

I found myself smiling and happy.

Every time I’m down, I go for a long walk through Central Park. I’ve discovered nothing better to get rid of my anxiety. I’m proud to say I live in a City that offers a little bit of every world, and today I enjoyed a journey through the best of them all.



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  1. James Garcia Jr

    Hello, stranger! I’ve missed you. I hope life is treating you well. As fate would have it my wife and I had to listen to how wonderfully enticing your city is yesterday afternoon. You see, our high school is sending my oldest son across the country once again. You may recall that we made out first trip last March as his Wind Ensemble played Carnegie Hall. This Easter week his choir is going for five days. We decided not to go this time since we’ll be paying for college this year, but we’re regretting the hell out of that decision now. *sad face*
    You have a wonderful city, my friend. We may not be going back next week like my son is, but I definitely look forward to my next visit. We love it!


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