Spending time in the park a week or two ago. And as I usually do spend a few hours underneath a tree reading and not being on the cell phone or laptop or any screen. The world is incommunicado.
Changing their temperament, the clouds darkened deep and a friendly constant breeze wandered around the grass and bushes and trees. And so I thought I could hold out and not leave. Dark clouds are quite interesting. You’re experiencing nature and its exciting to be there so I didn’t leave awaiting the next. The next arrived ceremoniously with a loud vibrating entrance. More like a boom and a crash. If the clouds didn’t mind you, then the boom and crash holds your attention. The excitement level increased quite a bit. Still I stayed and just looked up wondering if any of those lighting crashes were meant for the tree above. It was a large overgrown tree with long extended branches and leaves on the ends like the legs of a millipede. Remember the feeling of aliveness as a witness this event rather than inside looking out of a window ever so often. And so I wanted for the next. Again.
The next arrive slowly. One and then another and another and then all together randomly and faster, light at first, but then heavy globs in rapid-fire sequence. Rain. Dark clouds didn’t nudge me, ominous wind didn’t move me, thunder strikes held me firm in my place, but rain got me moving. Gathering the folding chair and tote to head for the car, the rain came down much much faster and harder. Reaching the VW Golf and lifting the hatchback to semi-organize the folded chair and tote bag I knew I was wet. Not drenched, but just enough to feel moist through clothing. Could see and feel the water rolling down my forearms.
Seated in the driver’s seat I waited and simply looked out through the glass windows. The steering wheel returned the stare. Straight ahead to see the grass and large bushes obscuring any view. The windshield holding up against the barrage. Almost like airborne solders dropping in from the sky and crashing into the ground. They fall and crash and explode on the windshield and roll downward to a ditch. New solders fall again and again. Don’t you know your fate solder? Follow orders solder. Die, die, die!!
To the left, the parking spot next to me. All these slots empty. Little water-works all around. More solders crashing to the ground and upon each other. There’s a pool forming.
The thunderstorm was just beginning. A curtain of rain surrounded the park as I drove out. That rain curtain continued well after I arrived home.
So I usually head to Starbucks when I just want to leave the house and be someplace else that isn’t as formal or quiet as a library but comfortable enough to spend a couple hours. Barnes & Nobles comes a close second. The city park might displace Starbucks as the go to place to relax and read.
The inspiration comes from New York’s Central Park during summer. The imagery is often of the young spread on beach towels like cream cheese on bagels, snacking on food stored in their baskets, wearing obligatory sunglasses, and sometimes shirtless. Oh and tossing around a Frisbee. Huh, I didn’t know that. Frisbee is a trademarked name. Thanks to the spell checker. Flying disk is the generic name. Anyway it never struck my why the park hadn’t entered my mental list of possible alternatives or replacements for my frequent purposes at Starbucks.
On an impulse this past Saturday morning I head to the city park with light supplies: magazine, headphones in zip lock bag, umbrella, bottled water, sunglasses, and folding chair. Check out my city park minimalist equipment here. Except for the large crowd in shelters at the parks entrance, the rear of the park was surprising free of people and cars. A little disappointed but I surely had my pick of parking and area.
The sole car in the row of spots and one hundred meters to the closest human. No less than one minute since I begin my enjoyment rain drops land on the magazine in dozens. Not a problem since the shelter a few paces away is empty. Actually much more comfortable though I do feel a bit awkward sitting in the chair with my feet resting on the wooden table’s bench. The rain continues and heavier this time. Wind joins the action and I feel great. Relaxed and comfortable the reading is just that more enjoyable. Wind cooled by the heavy rain creates an incredible breeze. Like an ice cube melting in front of a fan. Bottled water is nice, but I was getting the munchies and didn’t bring anything for wanting to keep this adventure light.
The no remorse list of pros and cons.
Quiet. No explanation needed.
Secluded. Might be scary if alone and female.
Fresh Air. No coffee aroma.
Cheap entrance. At $1.50 cheaper than a frappuccino.
Bring Your Own Food. Need to plan ahead a little.
Play Frisbee. Can’t do this at Starbucks plus you can take a break from whatever you aren’t doing.
Rain. Lovely ambiance.
Not Air Conditioned. May sweat. Humid too.
Insects and other crawlies. The uncomfortable feeling of creatures.
Bathroom. Hmm. Yeah.
Sunrise to Sundown Only. Good only on days off and weekends.
Rain. Possibility of being soaked.
Bring Your Own Food. You’re stuck should you forget plus bring the wrong thing and you’ll experience the bathroom.
Electricity. Plan ahead item.
Hour and a half into my park adventure restlessness sets. Switch to music though that just accelerated my restlessness. In end the park experiment was a success and now is top of mind for next weekend.