Meeting an Old Friend After a Year

Some places are like old friends. Time may pass between you, but when you return to them you find them there.

It’s not that they’re waiting for you. But they are welcoming without trying to, by simply being what they are.

A good old friend of mine is Herastrau Park, and recently I saw it again after more than a year.

It wasn’t forgetfulness that kept me away from it–only the pandemic.

Even though the situation wasn’t so bad here, I took a long retreat from most places to focus on my writing and just be–simply and without complications.

What is time between old friends?

I found the park unchanged save for a few old trees that had tired of gravity in one way or other.

Fallen old tree in park

How many times did I pass under their branches without paying any mind to them?

Now that they were not quite as vertical as usual I finally noticed them.

Tree trunk cut on park alley

Maybe that’s how parks count time–not in years like us, but in the trees they lose.

It was as if the place had gone through its own issues too during this time and overcame them to smile green and leafy.

There were some surprises too. Like these fellows.

turtles on a log in the water

Walking there, I felt the park remembered me too, in its green, leafy, chirpy way.

It was enough to look at the old alleys, at the reflections in the lake, at the tops of trees spreading over the sky to know it did.

Some places are like that, we don’t go to them but simply are one with them.

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