Archive | 5:18 PM

Day 139: lost in central perk

19 May

If the world is our playground…
then New York City must be the merry-go-round.

I spent the day strolling around the Upper West Side, popping in and out of stores and wandering around the rocky roads of Central Park.

It was the perfect day for a picnic.

It was also a perfect park to get lost.
I found myself mostly lost in thought, all wrapped up inside my head as I soaked in the warm sunshine and cool breeze, watching little faces be covered in paint and children with ballon wings fly by — only to be disturbed by a local who was truly lost.

“Excuse me ma’am, do you know how to get to the 59th Street Metro?”

I was confused for a moment — not because I am a tourist and have no clue where the 59th Street Metro is located — rather, I was startled out of my stupor because of what this woman said.  Did she just call me MA’AM?

It was jarring.
Like being called out as a feeble, old, decrepit lady.

I looked at her and shook my head apologizing for being a clueless tourist.
And, then I realized she was much younger than she looked. And alone.

So I whipped out my iPhone and called up a map.
“See, here we are, right here on the map. And you want to go that way — just follow the road all the way back and you’ll end up in Columbus Circle.”

Her face looked perplexed and her body was frozen.

“Would you like me to walk with you?” I offered even though I just came from that direction and would be backtracking my sightseeing tour.

“Oh, yes, please!”
I couldn’t turn down her eager smile.

So we walked through the winding roads that I had just traversed and I learned all about this fifteen-year-old name Julia who has dreams of attending art school.

As she exhuberantly shared her ideas with me, I realized something.

Sometimes it is our job to get lost.
And sometimes it’s our job to be found.

And, today, it was my turn to guide this young woman back to her metro stop.
But, really, that’s not why I happened to be the old lady standing on the path in front of Julia when she realized she was lost.

You see, it was Julia’s job to remind me about how easy it is to regain your footing and find the path in front of you — even when you think you are lost.

Sometimes getting found is just as easy as looking up and seeing a kind old lady who has been there before — and can show you the way back.

Isn’t that the perfect perk from the park?
Yes, ma’am.

(And, on that note — enjoy some pics from the NYC Playground today)

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