A central park in your head..!

HOW peaceful it’s in here!” said a friend of mine as he sat in my living room. “Peaceful?”
I asked surprised as I heard the angry shouts of neighbours yelling their tanks were overflowing, my dog barking and even the sound of a child wailing, “It’s quite noisy!”
My friend went to the window and opened another shutter, “Can you hear the rustling of the leaves? You are so lucky Bob, you have a peepul tree just outside and what a sound, a thousand leaves whispering in the breeze!” I could still hear the sounds of the waterman now yelling back at the neighbour who had shouted at him, my dog had stopped barking but I was ready for his next salvo, and the child had not stopped wailing.
“Still yourself!” said my friend. “Cut off all the other sounds like a superior mike and listen only to these peaceful sounds!” I did, and have learnt to do it everyday and enjoy the trees speaking gently even as they silently show me different colours of green.
My daughter who lives in Manhattan, New York, spoke to me the other day, “Dad, I wish I hadn’t shifted from my previous flat next to Central Park! From this new house I have to walk quite far to get there!” I remembered her previous flat, all we had to do was get out of her home, cross the road and into Central Park.
We had spent many beautiful moments, she and I as we had traversed the park together, sat by the lake, heard a soprano sing rapturous melodies, watched the swans and sometimes just walked.
“Put Central Park in your head!” I said. “What?” she asked. “Can you picture every peaceful spot you’ve been in there? Vividly and clearly?” “Yes,” said my daughter.
“Now just put that full picture in your mind, and slip into it. That’s going to be the place in your head were you can disappear whenever you get stressed! Your own piece of Central Park or maybe the whole of it, where you can walk and run or just sit still and watch the swans!”
I know she will do so, and from her busy flat in Manhattan, where she watches cars whizzing down below, people hurrying to work, and tourists milling round Times Square, she will create an oasis of calm in her head, and disappear inside whenever she wants a few moments of peace!
You can too! Create a beautiful place in your mind. Like the trees outside my room, as I write, you imagine the trees you want, a pond, a river or stream, sit awhile, put your feet into the gentle flowing water…Create a Central Park in your head..!
—Email: bobsbanter@gmail.com

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