Perhaps I sought atonement, having missed Sunday and Monday visits to Prospect Park, but I found myself at the foot of the stairs leading up to Lookout Hill. It was utterly deserted, and I recalled that a man was bludgeoned to death nearby last summer; I picked up a sturdy branch as a "walking stick," my standard prop in secluded areas.
Amid warbler songs in the woods, a human voice, hoarse and ranting, floated down from the hilltop. The rant was a cadenced one: just one voice, so, not an altercation. Delusional madman? Rehearsing actor? Aspiring rapper? Cautiously, I approached the circular meadow en route to the hill's summit. The rant, now directly across the wildflowers, was a religious one, praising the Lord and invoking his mercy, and occasionally lapsing into incomprehensible tongues.
Peering over the foliage, I saw a Nick Nolte-esque guy with Viking hair and mustache fling his arms skyward in rapture. As a believer in the mystical, I decided against hasty labels for my hilltop prophet (although a certain agitated relentlessness suggested being off one's meds).
Back down from the mountaintop, life went on, and so did these 15 eager dogs on their way to the Nethermead with their hired walker. Today marks the end of Quarter Three of my year in the park. Summer here in Brooklyn's green heart was lush and languid and playful, a blur of picnics, concerts, and cloud-gazing. With the quicker pace of autumn, I am determined to try harder not to miss a single day. Because, well, God knows what I'll be missing.
The earth is the
LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
—Psalm 24, 1-4