Dispatch 14: A (Legal) Walk in the Park in the Time of Corona

Parco Lambro

It’s legal to be in the park today. It’s Day 1 of Phase 2.

Nick said, “when humans leave, Nature’s happy.”

And it’s true; nature has flourished for the 2.5 months that the park has been off limits.

The hills and dales are pristine.

The birds know all about resurgence.

Listening, we looked up.

Turtle doves & nightingales, wood pigeons & booted warblers were singing.

Parrots were squawking. (A colony–escaped or abandoned pets?–has multiplied over the years.)

Woodpeckers (one or two?) drilled into trunks.

Over by the river: Ducks. Seagulls. Swans. Quacking, screeching; others dozing in the sun.

A heron on its spindly legs fished at the edges of a bog. Startled, it flapped its wings, big as umbrellas, and flew off.

The forsythia, crocus, cherry, apple, dogwood, have long bloomed and we missed their show. But still, we found flowers. These were more reluctant, less self-assured, a bit like we were on Day 1 of Phase 2: masked, gloved, vigilant but free to be out in the sun in the park.

Tulip trees camouflage their blooms.

Pollen from the poplar tried to hide the bellis perennis–those little wild daisies that are the first and the last to announce good weather. But we found them anyway.

In nooks, where the grass has grown long: you might have to dig for clover.

Tiglio–Linden–a scent like honey and apricot.

We lowered our masks and inhaled even though we were near the Lambro River that bisects the park. Usually it’s odiferous–bubbling with waste from factories upriver–but after 2.5 months of quarantine, the river’s cleaned up. We were surprised that all we could sense were heavenly wafts of acacia and linden.

On our way home I said, “cherish the green, let it buoy you.”

The old park, the park we have never appreciated–because it was close, because it was easy, because the river smelled and the crowded paths were dirty–this is the park that today, rejuvenated, has given us a gift, smack in the middle of the time of Corona.

3 thoughts on “Dispatch 14: A (Legal) Walk in the Park in the Time of Corona

  1. Oh, marvelous, Natalia! These are beautiful. And it is such a delight to know you get to be out there enjoying “the old park” and its new life and the big gift of it. Thank you for this! 🙂

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