"By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower.” --Rabindranath Tagore
On a delightfully cool NYC July morning, I awoke early for a nice long run toward the Lower East side. The magical light of the morning sun gently greets the buildings and trees with hope for the new day. Quiet residential streets have a distinct feel in each neighborhood, and as an early morning witness, I felt as if I were peeking inside a cupboard at an open house. The summer has its own serenity, too, in the lush green of the trees and bright colorful flowers set against the dark browns and slates of the walk-ups. Not much is stirring, especially on the weekend, and the city feels like my own.
On East 11th street, I felt particularly drawn to the quiet. A few birds chirped their morning greetings while a few people moved about in the background, but I mostly heard my breath keeping time with my footsteps on the pavement. A few moments later I spotted a bright purple sheet spread out in an alcove. Like a bright flower blooming against a simple background, I glimpsed the fairy-tale setting of a sleeping couple swaddled beneath this royal purple swath of fabric. The most memorable, moving part of this scene was the expression of love, contentment, and peace on the couple’s faces. The woman lay tucked into the man’s arm as he protectively cradled her. This couple, asleep beneath the stars, under the lush canopy of city trees and foliage, had expressions of love and bliss I rarely see on people who possess far more luxurious sleeping quarters. The purple sheet provided a shroud of testament to the regality of love and the simplicity of all that we each truly desire.
I remain eternally grateful for this visual image of love and connection.