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Mar 17, 2001

For Saint Patrick’s Day, Something Green

A stone in the stream, grown green with moss, heralding Spring at Winter's end.
Not rolling, but no stone goes forever unturned, undisturbed. The Park is a work of art, inflicted on the native landscape over a century ago, but a nostalgia even then. Stones were turned, and trees were planted, to turn the clock back to a more bucolic era. By the mid nineteenth century an increasingly urbanized Manhattan was in need of relief, and found it, in the form of an idealized vision of the countryside of its youth.

Remembering our youth brings us closer to our ancestors, just as dying will. In between, we are the keepers of their Tradition. We imitate what was, but our rehearsal is tinged by our own times, and if something of the stone is eroded, something is carried downstream.

If we measure ourselves against the creatures and the trees, let alone the stones, we seem to change quickly, holding but in memory what they hold in form. Yet theirs are Traditions too, and they have changed, if only over a time span exceeding our whole history. We flicker while they glow, but all alike join in consumption of the time allotted to Creation. When that Time is consummated; when all Traditions run their course, then we shall meet on equal terms, and find no difference between us.
Nor any between us and God.

Meantime, we take this day to face upstream.
Where it comes from is where it goes.
We may learn by looking either way, two-faced as we are, but holding heritage dear will help us to attract more of the precious particles washing over us: the settling gold of our origin. If we can take a form to which it will accrue, we will become a veritable boulder of gold, beyond value, and incorrupt.
Even so, we should be honored to support a mantling of Spring moss.
As precious in its way as gold, and in the time it takes to grow, holding our history in one green view,
before we roll downstream.

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