This morning I woke up, freezing cold in my apartment and decided to get out and enjoy some of the cool weather. It was forty-one degrees according to Siri, who may or may not be the most unreliable weather source in existence, but I decided to put faith in my electronic friend and put on a zip up hoodie before I walked out the door, bracing myself for temperatures nine degrees above freezing. The sun was out with no clouds in sight, warming the day up significantly and by the time I arrived at Overton Park just after eight thirty, temps were in the mid-fifties. I pushed my door closed and was greeted by the inevitable shock that comes each time I exit my car and am wearing anything but a t-shirt on the upper half of my body. I decided it was warm enough to leave the hoodie in the car, thrown into the backseat out of frustration towards it’s constant betrayal of me, and proceeded about my day thinking that there were no more shocks to be had.
I walked over to a Veteran’s memorial on the outskirts of the park and sat directly across from a giant statue of a green soldier with his gun pointed at me, and read my book in the warmth of the overhead sunshine. I ditched “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh” yesterday after struggling for more than a month to get through it, and began reading my new choice, “Room” by Emma Donoghue. I sat on the bench reading for about half an hour, completely engrossed in the concept of the book, before a loud trio of parents and kids descended upon my quiet oasis for family pictures. I know they have every right to be there taking pictures as I have to be there reading my book, and it’s not that I dislike parents or children, but the noisiness of the bunch made it difficult to continue reading. I didn’t mind; I wanted to go for a walk anyway. I put the book back in my car and walked across the vast green expanse that stood between the parking lot and the pond that I was intent upon walking around.
For such a beautiful day it was a bit surprising how few people there actually were at the park. As I walked across the grass I did see someone throwing a ball and watched in horror as their dog, unleashed, ran to retrieve it. There was a dog park not a hundred yards away, but this moron decided to let their dog run wild, leash laws be damned! Luckily the dog didn’t pick up on my scent of fear from where it played, and I remained a victimless patron of the park. I got to the pond and walked all the way around, pausing only briefly to watch a pair of ducks swimming across the water and admiring the beauty of the one with the green head. I thought to myself that the reason we probably didn’t have parks like this growing up in Arkansas is because on a beautiful Saturday morning such as this, men clad in camouflage would be firing their guns at the water, disrupting another civilian’s attempt at a peaceful morning walk. When I finished my walk I wasn’t ready to leave, but I was hungry and like all other times in my life, hunger won out and I left. It really was the perfect start to the day and there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be able to find me in the park tomorrow morning as well.