The story of your late teen years almost always includes the inevitable volcanic eruption of personalities that clash like a Greek mythological battle of the Gods. The instinctive progression that gravitates teens towards independence is the direct result of a lifetime of good parenting; providing life lessons that will ease their transition into a fully functional adult. This instinct often puts the parent in a conflicting position since they still have actual parental responsibility over the teen. It is at this stage where the parent has the life lesson to learn, that sometimes it’s hard to let go. And this morning was the Mount Vesuvius of all mornings.
Ganesh was raised in a multi-religious family, that often saw conflict between his reserved Christian mother and his father’s independent thinking style, which came from his Hindu upbringing in India. Ganesh knew they both had his best interest at heart and saw value in each of their positions. But as unforgettable as a bad movie, Ganesh had been replaying the scene from the morning in his head, over and over. He couldn’t seem to help himself. It wasn’t as if he wanted to voluntarily rehash this movie. After some time, he just needed to do something to not keep focusing on this negativity. There was solace to be found in music. With this thought, he plugged his headphones into his Walkman and was out the door, embarking on whichever adventures the day had to offer.
Many of my friends loathed having to ride the bus downtown, as they thought it took too long, with too many stops along the way. I found the commute to be relaxing and offered me the opportunity to simultaneously organize my thoughts while zoning out on my music. As soon as I stepped foot off the bus, my body was fully captivated by the magical spring air. After a week straight of late May doom and gloom that brought constant downpours, all the leaves had filled in their homes on the dangling tree branches. The flowers were bursting wide open with vivid colors that encompassed the entire spectrum of the rainbow. It was as if all the world’s vegetation had experienced a reincarnation after a long winter sleep and were all eagerly awaiting their chance to experience the enlightenment this season had to offer. Spring had finally taken the driver seat, taking us to a gorgeous destination, full of lively people that were out and about after the long hibernation of winter.
Something seemed to come to life inside of me when I was downtown. There was this magical atmosphere, a world unto itself, which was more of a far-off land in a fairy tale, full of stories yet to be told. Following any of the brick pathways that are found throughout our concrete jungle could lead you off to a seemingly secret side street, hiding out right in plain sight. I found my favorite narrow brick walkway that mysteriously and unexpectedly opens into a vast square lined with eateries including outside dining and various “mom & pop” boutiques. Musicians displaying their talents along the benches create the perfect soundtrack, one which never repeats. Mosaic tiled fountain that lay home in the center of the square offers visual balance to the scene, which was also a beautiful gathering spot.
I had not initially intended on going out so early in the day but considering the negative energy that had encapsulated my home this morning, I had to make a break for it. This presented the perfect opportunity to take several deep breaths of the “once upon a time….” energy that downtown filled me with and reset my mind. As per usual, it astonishes me how the universe that surrounds us can quickly turn a seemingly negative event into something beneficial beyond words. The night’s shenanigans would likely involve the need to create a clear conscious for myself, so having a good amount of time to kill would certainly aid me in getting my head right.
One of the other mysterious brick pathways brought me to yet another fountain that was centered in a smaller park built on private property, just before an abandoned brick warehouse crawling with stunning wildflowers and ivy. This helped create the ambiance of industrial meeting hipster. I stood there soaking in the mediative, calming effects of the mosaic tiles mixing with the lightly spraying fountain that was replicating the sound of an early spring rainstorm. As I begin my re-energizing spell that had been cast on me, I meander through an older gate that appeared to have been locked at one point many moons ago, but has since been rusted through and busted open. This brought me through a narrow ally and onto a footpath which circled the edge of Somerset Plaza; my excursion into the park seemed like an inevitable conclusion.
The symmetry in design was something that continuously fascinated me. At the center of this plaza stood the most gorgeous fountain in our entire city. Hand painted patterns were on the baby blue Spanish tiles helped set the mood for the rectangular wading pool, that was often a child’s play area during the hot summer months. The artistically designed metal statues that stood guard over the fountain only fed into the mystical atmosphere that consumed tourists and natives a like; this was the ideal place to escape the hustling traffic that filled the crowded streets on any given day.
The late morning sun had been in full force, giving warmth to my skin to the point that sweat was rolling down my forehead. I had decided to fall into a trance while sitting on a bench under the natural canopy the trees established. The serenity of the plaza created the ideal environment to ponder the little things of life, while drifting into a daydream of speculation surrounding the world we live in. This state of Zen and blissful energy could soothe even the most disturbed spirit into a ray of positive light that would brighten most any situation. All that is required is a little bit of time, and a willingness to expand your mental boundaries.