We live, Alex and I about 100 feet from the freeway. The city sings to us all day long, all night as well, never the same music. Wind, temperature, where the neighbors are, when the moon is tugging or shoving - all these things matter. People running out of the building, the door closing swiftly, the disinclination to give pause leaves growling in the rush of the day. Coming in is more playful. Joyful laughter of home echos in the halls. Every day my walk along the city streets grants me a second waking. My feet are nimble, now my ears wake and give thanks for the song of passing cars mixed in with chirping birds and protective dogs.
This enormity, this cauldron of changing greens and blues is the greatest palace of the earth. Everything in it - monsters, jewels, angels, soft-eyed strangers that unhesitatingly exchange looks with us as we pass them in the park; the quietly inviting library that asks us to explore the artifacts of past decades of centuries; heartfelt stories of the here and now - the remembered and faithfully repeated recitations of language - the acknowledgment of the multitude of self. How can we not always know that we already live in paradise?