Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Outdoor City

Dawn rises over our city. Newspapers plop on cool, concrete steps. Joggers and dog walkers nod and pass each other on streets waking up. Buildings catch the early sun and fill the dark alleys with light. Lovers rise and hold hands as they walk along the shore, remembering the sweetness of night. Street vendors open their carts, warm hot dogs and chorizo, Italian sausage, satay, and burritos. They ready ice cream bars and shaved ice cones. Cars bring people in from the suburbs to fill the large open fields by the lake. City buses bring people in. Trains bring people in. The river flows through the city and joins the lake downtown. And the happy sounds of the city grow as the people come in. Children race across the grass as their parents spread picnics out on blankets. There are pick-up games of basketball and soccer. Frisbees hover on the air. Musicians gather under the trees and play the sweet and sad songs from their neighborhoods. The rhythms of steel drums and bodhrans, guitars and Andean flutes. Shuffleboard and chess, dashikis and yamulkes, laughter, dreadlocks, the smell of corn roasting in the husk fill the warm afternoon air. People dance as couples. They dance in groups, and some just spontaneously dance alone. Kites soar up on the breeze, and boats with orange and yellow sails go by, rowboats and red kayaks go by. Faces are painted with imaginary blue creatures with whiskers and toes painted a rainbow of colors. The city dances and sings today for this glorious weather. Old folks and young people dance. People of many cultures sing and dance together on this beautiful, beautiful day spent outdoors.