On Monday, as part of Madrid’s ‘de-escalation’ process, the great Casa de Campo park opened. It’s a vast area of wild parkland right next to the city center, which I’ve been sorely missing. I normally go several times a week on my bike, and it’s been painfully off-limits since March 16th.
So when I found out on Sunday night it would open the following morning, I could hardly contain myself! I zoomed out of the door the next morning, biked over there and flung myself into its now wildly-overgrown pathways.
I felt surges of complete joy biking around, I wanted to stop other bikers and walkers and joggers and say, ‘Isn’t this great?’ I started singing a song I love by Bright Eyes, ‘This is the first day of my life’ …
And suddenly, cruising down one of the hills, I got this strong sensation: here I am, in the park, in the present moment, and nothing else matters. As far as the present moment is concerned, the Casa de Campo has never been shut! Now it’s open, now I’m here… and I remembered my favourite verse from the Buddhist Canon… ‘The past no longer is. The future has not yet come. Looking deeply at life as it is in the very here and now, the practitioner dwells in stability and freedom…’ Live in the now, and all is well.
I came home and sketched my favourite oak at the top of the Casa de Campo, where I like to lean my bike and mill around for a while.