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Jack Schimmelman

Jack Schimmelman

Posted: March 20, 2011 01:57 PM

Central Park: A Performance in Four Seasons (Spring)


2011-03-20-CentralParkCherryTree.jpeg
Paul Gaither (used by permission)

paulgaitherphotography.com


On this 20th day in March at approximately 7:21 p.m. Winter graciously bows and floats away from the northern hemisphere leaving the stage to Spring. This has not been an easy transition. The two seasons duked it out for several days in an annual dance of ferocious change. Thunder, lightning, rain, the torrents of winter's last cries, are the eternal seasoned events of this time.

In the Park Central to New York City, Spring prepares her palette for nature's annual outdoor arts fiesta. Sondheim's words may immerse with Broadway's DNA; the Yankees and Mets may yearn to witness such an event, but are constrained by the ball and chain of multi-million dollar contracts that compel them to lather in Florida's unkept promises. Despite their lack of valued presence, Spring continues unfettered by our doomed attempts to ignore nature's genius.

Jackets rapidly take wing from weary bodies, filling the atmosphere with feathers of geese and ducks; bicycles are de-iced ready to zoom through the green pathways of the glorious natural arena centered in Manhattan. Running, cycling, skating and dancing near the walk of literary aficionados.

High above the feathers of well-worn sheaths, thousands of birds are flying home passing over Central Park as some rest and relax on their way to points north. Some even stay to make a new family, building nests out of nature and plastics. Urban nests. Many stay for the glorious show that unfolds annually. They are entranced by seen and unseen sounds and glories.

We humans also migrate towards our central lifebeat. Yes, there is Carnegie Hall, cinemas emanating from global aspirations, dance in the streets and theatres, opera, Broadway and everything in between and some which few folks even imagine (circa Lower East Side). The best show in town is free and resides within the sap and buds, branches swooning at impossible angles. The moment is magnified by the Supermoon, which adorns our lives one night before the vernal equinox is fully unveiled, no doubt bathing in residual, chromium light bequeathed to us by Diana.

The neighborhoods are cheering, majestically bordering an awakening park. The urbane Upper West Side, the commercial southern luxury, the bustling Upper East Side and finally Harlem's profound soul. Each does its dance to welcome the new reflection.

Jack, now 40, has once again lost the thread of his life, Jill. He rambles in the Brambles seeking, searching for his eternal mate and the arc of his life. On a bench beneath an afternoon sonata created by sky migrants, he finds her. Jill once again looks at her destiny. Jack takes Jill's hand. They finally have descended from the hill upon which they met so long ago after a college weekend. Their music ensemble begins.

The denizens of woods and open fields alike are also awakening. Walk slowly and see tiny buds peek into the Spring light waiting to know if the time is right. So much goes into their simple, elegant emergence. We hardly discern the surface of their travail. When the light arrives at the proper angle, gradually heating their universal frozen hibernation, they will show what they are born to do. Organic, conscious Beings with such names as the American Elm, Flowering Dogwood, Norway Maple, Turkey Oak, join the celebration along with their cousins too numerous to list. Then there is the Kwanzan Cherry tree. She will cry to the ground her stunning pink blossoms as she mourns for her homeland, so destroyed by her mother's nature. Beautiful, stunning flowers steeped in saline feelings will graciously fall to the awaiting velvet ground, belying her sadness.

Perhaps it is unfair to bestow human emotions upon nature, but it isn't difficult to believe how we are influenced by world tragedies as we witness seasonal changes in our most adored Park as well as within our beloved souls. Somehow this year's springtide has taken us aback. Not only have we survived a most unusually cold and brutal winter, but also we stand helplessly as we stare wide eye at the (temporary) destruction of a great and poetic land and many of its international citizens. Let us pray that summer will be wildly festive knowing that people are once again safe and able as our planetary cousins successfully begin to rebuild their lives.

Spring is born. Let us rejoice in the miracle of our habitat's eternal revival.