Today was a magical day. I woke up this sunny morning and decided to just get dressed and get out – to no particular destination. Bare in mind, it was -2 degrees Celsius (28 Fahrenheit). I walked to my favourite coffee shop and a guy complimented me on my hat pointing that he had a similar one. Mine was made of wool and his was made of beaver skin. “Poor beaver” I said, “they are too cute”. He replied jokingly “Well, aren’t your boots made of leather?” Right. We concluded that we were all happy hypocrites.
I walked out of the shop munching on my peanut butter cookie as I was starving. I walked past a young boy playing the accordion, enjoyed the music, tipped him and ended up in Washington Square Park. I saw two men feeding the squirrels so I sat with all of them for about ten minutes and we concluded that
“Squirels are cute rats with a fluffy tail”.
And, I also found out that in some parts of America, they eat them. They asked me if we had squirrels in Lebanon. I said that even if we did, the barbarians would probably kill them – Like they do with all the dolphins, turtles, birds and any other living species that unfortunately decide to visit our Lebanese soil/sea.
I walked a few steps and saw Larry, the bird man in the picture, feeding an army of fat rats with wings – Also known as pigeons. “You remind me of home alone”, I said, like plenty other people told him today. He asked me to extend my arms to offer the pigeons a seat. I was obviously terrified considering the fact that the pigeons were probably loaded with poop (especially after their eating session). (NOTE: If you ever got shat on by a pigeon and someone told you that it’s good luck; that’s probably an excuse to stop you from killing them.) Larry saw the fear in my eyes and sheared the names of the birds – almost as if he wanted me to feel closer to them. There was one called Gul because she looked like a seagull. (Try to spot her in the pic). Before you knew it, I had three pigeons chilling on my arm and I wasn’t afraid anymore. Larry asked for a donation, I gave him a cigarette instead; one which he enjoyed as we bid each other farewell.
As I walked through the park, I saw a guy who was trying to put a rugby ball into a basketball hoop across the fountain while he was being filmed. Apparently, he was known as little kids ran up to him and took pics. I didn’t know who he was but I sat down and prayed for a good ten minutes for him to make the shot. And when he finally did, we all screamed of joy. That was all happening while a man was playing the piano. I moved across the fountain and sat next to the piano-man while he played Amelie Poulain.
As I sat in the freezing cold listening to the beautiful melody, I closed my eyes and felt the ray’s of sunshine hit my skin. I think that was the moment where I experienced true bliss. I was floating so high; I was at peace with the universe.
When I opened my eyes, I saw the three guards that Larry mentioned. He warned me earlier saying, “Be careful of the three guards when you smoke your cigarette. But don’t worry, you’ll be able to spot them from a mile away as they are always together and they are dressed in green – like you.” I laughed at their sight and rushed to capture the moment.
We are all so consumed by our daily lives and issues that we fail to recognise God in every living soul and the beauty in this world. Everyday is an opportunity to connect with the divine power by connecting to each other. Today, I sat in a park and I felt lucky that it even exists. In my country, politicians are trying to turn our last park into a parking space. Today, I learned to listen to people. Today, I connected with strangers. Today, I learned many new things I didn’t know. Today, I heard live music. Today, I overcame my fear of pigeons. Today, I rooted for a man I had no connection to. Today, I recognised the beauty in a cold winters day. Today, I left my house with no destination. Today, I found myself in a park amongst nature. Today, I listened to my heart. Today, I experienced bliss. Today, I felt Gods magical existence in all living beings. Today, was a magical day indeed.