Near-perfect October day, Boston Public Gardens

On days like today, my city’s Public Garden is the most beautiful place on the face of the earth, and no words can describe the crisp, quiet majesty of this paradise-on-earth, which takes my breath away, makes my heart flutter, and my eyes squint with incredulity.

On days like today, the city is here as though for the first time–all the lovers old and young, the children in strollers and their parents, the lone men and women with their dogs, the groups of teenagers, even the very old persons who can barely walk are here.  We are all strangers by choice in the overwhelming presence of something so transient as an October day, soon to end, give way to the night.

Tread softly, for even the leaves on the ground have somehow come to life, curling themselves at the edges, turning their surfaces to the wind and the light that come and go. And although the noise from Charles and Boylston Streets can be pretty loud, we know we are on sacred ground in this oasis where the city stops for a while and something else takes over.

Tread softly, and keep your voice low and your step light and your words sparse. And even when you leave the gardens and head to the Arlington Street subway station, the city that you know so well, the streets and alleys and all their pedestrians, including you, will be different, will be sweetly strange. And isn’t that, in the end, what cities can do for us–deliver us from the monotony of our everyday lives (and selves), and throw us into the maze of the unknown and the extraordinary?

And so, fellow traveler, repeat after me, one more time and as though for the first time: Small joys, worth a lot.



About Taline Voskeritchian

Writing teacher at Boston University; translator (from Arabic and Armenian); prose writer; occasional editor; incurable wanderer.
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