Ode to Gravel
Prospect Park is my place of meditation, where I can escape the bustling city, the noise and pollution of urban life. It also represents community and celebration: it is where I celebrated various milestones in my life: birthdays, my dissertation defense, goodbye parties for family members leaving the country. It is where my oldest child learned to walk while chasing after a ball on the lawn, and where she experienced snow sledding for the first time. It is my place of leisure par excellence: where I get daily exercise while clearing my mind as I walk the circular loop around the park, and where I commune with friends and family on weekends for picnics. It is both where I go to take a break from life, and where I experience life more intensely. It is, I realize, the communion of various sets of apparent contradictory experiences into a delicate and harmonious balance: nature and urban city life, exertion and relaxation, escape and encounter.