|Image courtesy of shigitatsu.com|
This is all worlds away from where I grew up where it is perpetually spring; palm trees don't ever seem to die- it's as if as long as there aren't too many extreme temperature changes, they'll thrive eternally. Don't get me wrong, though, nice weather is certainly not a curse. But when it's consistently pleasant outside, there's not really much to look forward to on the foliage front. As a result, even though several years have passed since I moved to New York, the novelty of annual flowers that briefly grace the world with their presence never gets old.
Spring also inspires the appreciation of other simple pleasures besides the ones that nature provides. I went into the city a few weeks ago, traversing the island east to west, and on my way to the train back to Brooklyn, I stopped for a little break near the 5th Avenue Apple Store. The massive patio in front of it is always packed with tourists, as it sits across from the Plaza Hotel, Central Park, etc. On this particular afternoon, many of the people there seemed to be on the tail-end of a shopping day, most likely finishing with a descent into the Apple Store's massive glass cube. But among the crowd of the usual characters, there sat an elderly couple, well into their seventies, if not eighties, basking in the late afternoon sun.
As I sat there watching them from behind, I knew, partly, that I was witnessing a perfectly clichéd New York moment: "Amidst the hustle and bustle of the big city, she sat for a moment, only to see a lovely old couple reminding her of what is really important in life: enjoying the company of others, love and savoring small pleasures," the screenplay would read. But the sweetness of their interaction still stopped me in my tracks.
I slurped my quickly melting Forty Carrots frozen yogurt as I watched these two lovebirds sit in silence with each other. As if the calming drone of traffic and hum of nearby conversations wasn't enough ambient noise for them to melt away into, the husband held a small tape player with a speaker to his wife's ear that played Big Band music; they brought a bit of their past with them to that very mundane Thursday afternoon. He held while she listened, closing her eyes, her face aimed straight up at the sun. It was a gentle moment of affection that conveyed a sense of utter contentedness between the two of them.
I suppose the idea of simple pleasures can seem clichéd because it is so often referred to, yet it is even more often ignored in the flurry of our daily lives. But if spring can bring out the beauty in a relationship that has obviously stood the test of time, then hopefully there's something in it for me, too.
Next weekend, you'll know where to find me: in front of the 5th Avenue Apple store staring at the sun with my boyfriend. The only thing is, where in the hell do you get a Walkman with speakers? Well-played old couple, well-played.