What is it that makes a great city? Or a city great?
Some would say it is people. All the colors of the rainbow.
And all the flavors they bring with them. From their homes around the globe.
I always enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes and other pleasures that people bestow upon cities.
But whenever I go to a great city, no matter where in the world, I head straight for the green space.
All great cities have one.
And, of course, London.
I go to the green spaces not only for their inherent beauty, but because they are places that are perfect for contemplation, especially in the midst of confusion and chaos.
As Marvell put it so well (in his poem The Garden), such places have the power of: “Annihilating all that’s made/ To a green thought in a green shade.”
I am blessed that my green space is just a 10-minute walk from my new home. It is the Boston Public Garden.
(Not to be confused with the Boston Garden, the sports arena that is home to the Celtics and the Bruins. That is a subject for another day).
It is now part of my daily routine to head to my green space. Sometimes I just watch the people. Sometimes I give my mind over to the luxury of wandering. Sometimes I read.
And sometimes I just look. Imagine seeing this. In 3D.
As a recovering journalist, I need to complete the necessary transition from fantasy to reality. It will take me quite some time to purge the dregs of delusion from my mind.
And to make myself worthy again of considering what Yeats called the “monuments of unageing intellect”.
(I am currently re-reading the Psalms. Because all the great English poets were imbued with them).
But I will complete that journey.
With the help of my favorite bench. In the Boston Public Garden.
The world is too much with us, warned Wordsworth.
So we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.