If I lived out from the city last night I could have heard the loud noises of the cicadas and felt the wet, humid breath of summer on my neck. I could have watched the stars come out and string diamonds around the moon's pale, round neck. But, I live in the heart of the city. Downtown.
The melting pot of urban decay and renewal, death and birth stirred together with steel i-beams, concrete and the oppressive closed heat of bricks stacked recklessly around me. I hear no gentle nature sounds. I cannot ponder the breezes through the pines or grasses. No night birds, except the pigeons asleep in the crevasses of the campus. No croaking frogs. No fireflies to chase. Instead my lullaby is sirens and tejano music pulsing from the neighbor's truck.
Cars rush back and forth along the street and stars are obscured by the thick gravy of the day's buildup of smog. Sirens wail a song of misery in the cacophony of the city. The moon still smiles at me through the full pecan tree, though she seems quite shy to show all of her glory. As I sit on the stoop, I can hear the murmur of the neighbors punctuated now and again with laughter or "duuuuuuuuudeeee". They seem so far away but they are just a couple doors down. I smell the faint fragrance of the grill and can almost detect the beers as their laughter becomes more frequent.
It's not Walden – it's the Southside. I do not spy the pond or the poplar trees. But like Thoreau my serenity is rippled but not ruffled in the night. All of these things touch me….but seem distant. They are a reflection in my world, my circle.
reposted from a previous blog id - but it was one of my better efforts