Walking Cross-Town. Crossing the Street.


The morning ritual is…

GET to the office.
GET to the desk.
Fire up the PC.
GET a jump on the day.
Same. Same. Same.

I exit Grand Central,
and head West.
Same route.
As the crow flies,
it’s a straight shot, on foot, cross-town, to the office on 48th street.
Speed traps are meted out by flashing Don’t Walk! signs and traffic,
as jaywalking is a cultural norm in Gotham.

I couldn’t tell you what triggered it.
It could have been a car horn.
A driver shouting at another.
Or perhaps more subtle,
a bird call amidst the gray, inert skyscrapers,
or a unusually, warm early morning wind gust from my left.

But, a month ago, I turned and I looked across the street.
It was an oasis of green between two hulking skyscrapers.
Small shrubs and plants and miniature trees.

Several weeks pass.
Each time, I glance to my left across the street as I approach.
Take a bloody detour Man. Cross the damn street.
The “Walk” signal ahead is flashing “Walk” and I accelerate to catch it.
I don’t cross.
Day after day after day, I don’t cross.

It’s Tuesday.
A spectacular morning.
My secret garden is approaching a block up.
Cross the damn street Man.  Cross the damn street.
I cross the street. 
I’m stunned at how difficult this interruption to my morning ritual is.

I’m standing in front of the garden.
Automated sprinkler systems are nourishing the plants and shrubs.
Water droplets are glistening on the flats of the leaves.
The ‘greens’ are the greenest of green, a beacon in this sea of concrete.

A gentle breeze from my right rustles the leaflets on the miniature tree,
and I turn to my right to see a copper plate on the skyscraper:

In God We Trust. 1957.




  1. Love this on many levels David. Eventually getting to the oasis to perhaps find …
    It takes skill and patience to create a manicured green – whether its gardens or dollars.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a wonderful of example of how people are boxed into a routine and busy-ness that, although uninspiring, requires courage to break free from; yet enlightenment is around that next corner if we can just press pause and step off the treadmill for a moment.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes. Your thought reminds me of this quote Sarah:

      To those who complain of the complexity of modern life, he [Henry David Thoreau] might reply,“If you want inner peace find it in solitude, not speed, and if you would find yourself, look to the land from which you came and to which you go.”

      — Stewart Udall, The Quiet Crisis, 1963

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Important to pay attention to that green wherever it shows up ! ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great writing! It always seems so difficult to take that first step, only to find it wasn’t that hard after all. Enjoy the view. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. See what breaking a habitual routine and following intuition can give us. A personal welcome to the natural world tucked in between hulking skyscrapers. Great writing, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. In God We Trust. On the dollar bill. Which is also green. New currency.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. a mirage that was real, amidst the arid concrete landscape. that garden and i were born in the same year.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Another life paradox: ritual (routine) grounds us, yet ritual (routine) binds us. Having routines keeps us numb, barely alive. When something is rote, it is:

    routine; a fixed, habitual, or mechanical course of procedure:
    the rote of daily living.
    proceeding mechanically and repetitiously; being mechanical and repetitious in nature; routine; habitual: rote performance; rote implementation;
    His behavior became more rote with every passing year.
    by rote, from memory, without thought of the meaning; in a mechanical way:
    to learn a language by rote.

    My addition: barely being conscious. Good for you for becoming conscious!! (and more great writing, David).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Somehow missed this wonderful post earlier, pal. This is you ‘doin’ what you do’ in the best way possible. Remember, my friend, it’s important to ‘treat yo self!’ 🙂 https://youtu.be/ZsABTmT1_M0

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Do you know how fortunate you are?…that the universe is pulling you in such right directions? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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