Living transiently has created an awareness of the essential requirements for stability. Connection to community has emerged as a major contributor to our ability to enjoy the journey. Phone, text and the oft dreaded facebook contribute. However what really lays the bones for stability is the ability to connect with people either in person, at meetings, in churches, over coffee and those conversations with strangers that evolve into more than hello.
There has been a communal focus in New York to resurrect a city from decay. The past ten years have seen the efforts of a community bearing fruit. I saw “asphalt green” a basement and sub basement of a high rise converted to basketball courts, swimming pool and recreation area all visible at street level but inside the development and open to the public as common space. I saw the high-line track converted to an above ground park turning miles of track above ground into pubic space with pools and fountains and trees and seating. Imagine if the city planers in Vancouver could build a park over and under the viaduct rather than deconstruct it. The lead picture of this entry shows the trees growing out of the rail bed. Planted for survival with minimal maintenance and cared for by a team of community volunteers.
It would be easy to be intimidated by a city this large, this diverse, this paced, but it might be rewarding to sit quietly for a moment and watch the sunshine on the old Flat-Iron building. Then you might see that a realistic and caring sense of past coupled with the immediacy of living in every energizing present moment lays the foundation for a future hope. I learn history lessons the hard way and struggle with enjoying the present but every mile, town, experience fills my heart with hope that the next leg of the journey will also be exciting. This city knows happiness because it has hope. The chairperson at the recovery meeting put it simply. I know this will work tomorrow because it worked today.