We left home in a subdued, late-afternoon sunshine, picnic in tow and appetite cranked up, hoping for a mellow setting and a dry patch of grass. By the time we reached the Brooklyn Bridge Park, however, hope had faded, replaced by menacing clouds and a bone-chilling westerly wind.

Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan

We setup our kikois anyways and endured the freezing evening while strange clouds zoomed past us and Manhattan sank into darkness. There were good reasons for us to hunker down, as we soon discovered. Marie had chosen our charcuterie masterfully and the simple saucisson, cow milk cheese and orange-peel-flavored paté de campagne were divine, and blended perfectly well with a contraband white wine, if maybe a touch sweet as all Rieslings but nice and clean-cut nonetheless.

So we ate and watched and talked and shivered and analyzed the sky and took deep breaths. While the walls are closing in and threatening to crush one, it’s always good to seek open spaces and a wider perspective, to broaden the scope of one’s worries and mingle with a world that has not yet been overwhelmed by defeat and petty failures. There, in the glory of all things daily but often ignored, lay the magic of perspective, the beauty of patience and the power of renewed energy and resolve.

Manhattan struggles to regain its sunset