7 AM at the Brooklyn Bridge Park yesterday. The Manhattan skyline stands muted under a pale blue sky. A burst of golden light bounces off a glass building, burnishing the Brooklyn Bridge. Orange ripples cut across the river. A lone man is doing tai chi, matching his movement with the rising sun. Unfamiliar bird calls ring the air. I look up and find a brilliant gold finch on a branch, contemplating the same scene as I. Ripe red berries hang from the trees – just one of the many reasons the migrating birds have made this place one of their favored destinations. Like them, I love the Brooklyn Bridge Park. It's the only place in the city where I can stand at the shoreline, that ever moving border between land and water, with all the trees rustling behind my back and the glimmering river flowing out to sea ahead of me. While I listen to the murmur of life teeming around me, I think about my friend Daniel, who is laying his father to rest.
I love early mornings, those fleeting moments when the day has yet to unfold and all its possibilities lie open. They offer a chance to start afresh no matter what happened the day before. I live my life haunted by a line I once read: "Tous les matins sont sans retour." One can say the same about life: an inexorable march to nothingness with no turning back. But while the march is on, life can offer an overwhelmingly rich palette – mornings like yesterday, a quiet talk with my daughter at night when I put her to bed, my mother's smile, all the colors of autumn blended seamlessly in a single leaf, and countless other indescribably beautiful things that I keep close to my heart.