Driving home from a meeting on Friday night, the kiddo and I took a “shortcut” through the park and stopped at the top of Art Hill to gaze down on the fountains in the reflecting pool at dusk. We’ve just returned back from a vacation spot that one could argue sports the most stunning sunset show you could ever hope to lay eyes on. It’s always hard to leave a place like that and come back to reality, the reality of most of our days is spending sunset time bathing and bedding the kid on the third floor…perhaps for a brief moment noticing how the pink twilight is coming through the windows and illuminating all the white woodwork, but more likely, not. We get some killer sunsets here as well, although I know they are amplified by the griminess of urban life and lack the peacefulness of watching the sun slip into the sea for the night.
But man, this city is gorgeous. Not just pockets of loveliness, but acres upon acres of it spread out for the enjoyment of all who slow down to take it in. And this spot, at dusk, is one of the best. We sat on the wall above and took it in for a bit, then meandered down the hill to the fountains, weaving ourselves past the intertwined couples, the summer student trying to read thick textbooks in the waning light, the children tripping around their parents, the father and his two boys launching homemade balsa wood planes into the air, the canoes and paddle boats slipping underneath the bridge, underneath our feet, the panting man with panting dog pausing beside us for a mid-run break. I love the ocean, I’d love to spend more than eight days a year beside one, but I love this place we call home as well. Any park, and our parks in particular, excel at what they are meant to do…offering us a next door escape from the rigor and ritual of daily life, a mini-vacation right here at home.