Thursday, April 25, 2013

43 Days - Gerritsen Beach & The Full Moon Over Brooklyn

An oasis of tall grass, yellow sand, tree groves, birds and their songs, this small beach area is nestled in to a southeastern section of Brooklyn, butted up against suburbia. A maze of dirt, sand and straw trails and littered with all mater of debris, pre- and/or post-Sandy I'm unsure, from rusted out cars to broken bottles to garbage, I find it easy to look past the trash and enjoy the peaceful solitude. I've gotten used to doing these here in New York City.  

I explore this beach for three hours and don't see another person the entire time.  It has been a long, long time since I was alone in New York City; in fact, the only other time was October 8th, 2012.  I remember this because I was exploring the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens and two things struck me as I walked: first, that I was completely alone, save for the park employees at the gate, and second, that there was no asphalt, a miraculous grace for my feet, for my knees and for my spirit.

At the last quarter mile on the Marine Park Trail, I spot an old man standing still, his face cast up to the sky, eyes closed, and he is humming. Humming and soaking up the sun on this brilliant spring day, with its cool wind nipping at our ankles and its warm sun settling upon our shoulders.

The old man is local, a Russian American who has lived here near the beach for thirty years.  He asks why I'm walking on this "dirty trail" when I could be on the other side of the water, walking on the paved path "with all the others".  I smile and tell him because "that's where all the others are", to which he smiles back and nods. 

We chat for just a moment more. He is seeking silence and I am leaving it behind, walking back to the street with its scurrying, lumbering, young, old, tall, short, heavy, thin, straight, bent, lounging, purposeful people, with its loud, noisy, polluting traffic of cars, trucks, vans, mta buses, school buses, all wheel drive, four wheel drive, the wheels go round and round vehicles and all their noise, and with the heat of the day rising up from the asphalt to greet the soles of my shoes that are sprinkled with the dust, grass, dirt and sand of the day.  

The full moon is bright on this clear, warm night, casting its light along the cobbled streets and its reflection in to the windows of the brownstone apartments.  "Play with me, stay with me," the man in the moon whispers, and I realize that I have just one more full moon to enjoy, here in New York City.

1 comment:

taz said...

Luve this description:
"...that there was no asphalt, a miraculous grace for my feet and my knees."