My daily life is broken by tiny extraordinary moments – those dashes away from whatever you’re doing, the silly laughter with a colleague, the email from your sister, the mystery of the missing necklace and the “If you find this necklace” poster that Dave hid in my skating bag along with a roll of tape. These are the little things, the minutiae that nudge me outside myself to something greater and leave me with that feeling of being in the middle of it all, in that beautiful stream of life.
The Red Beaded Necklace
My necklace left me and now I have a hole in my heart. I want my necklace back. My sister, maybe you remember her. I refer to her as Don Quixote on some days, Napoleon on others. She sent me an email after she read my post on the red necklace. All it said was “Sorry about your necklace. Mom probably took it . She needs it for her next life. Don’t’ worry. It’s safe.” And I laughed.
And then a few nights later, I am in a deep sleep. I don’t see her but I feel her in my dream. Maybe it’s her standing by the door. Yes, it’s her but she’s leaving. She’s always leaving in these dreams. I don’t see the beads but I know she is paying me a rare visit and when I wake up, I”m okay. I’m really okay. She wanted her beads back.
I walk at lunch. I find it unnatural to sit all day at a desk – so I walk every day. I walk in Central Park – no, not the one in New York. Not the one with those quaint 19th century lantern lights that create wintry shadows on crisp white snow. The one where you can still hear a horse and carriage carrying the ghosts from its past. My Central Park houses killer fish illegally dumped in ponds. Though I have never seen it myself, this fish grows rapidly, stalks its prey from the murky depths of the pond and eats small dogs.That’s my Central Park.
Like others I walk Central Parks’ trails at noon. I see lovers, friends, colleagues, strangers, lost souls winding their way through the wooded pathways. Sometimes young lovers stop to kiss – long lingering kisses. They’re lost to each other. When they’re old they’ll think back on the sweetness of this love – and while their lover’s face may fade from memory, the thought of them still holds a light deep in their heart.
I walk and take in the quiet setting. I say hello here and there but mostly I just walk. Lately though I’ve noticed someone new. We pass each other on our routes. He is going the opposite way to me. I know he is coming before I see him because he’s singing. Opera – beautiful, resonant notes joyfully executed . His confident baritone lands smoothly on the fragrant fall air. I hear him before I see him. When I see him he continues singing. He’s by no means a young man. He’s tall with white hair and he has a lazy way about him. As we pass each other he stops, pauses, looks me in the eye and says hello with his slightly accented almost ordinary voice. And then he continues on his way singing. Opera Man I think to myself and once again I feel lucky. Really lucky.