Our morning outing started with disappointment. The plan was to pick up DVDs at the Ossining Public Library that Levon would watch while I met with someone at Quimbaya. I’d forgotten that on Wednesdays the library doesn’t open until 1:00. So, my 5-year-old was just going to have to be polite and patient during my meeting. (That’s what little boys are known for, right?) By the time we got to Quimbaya the rain was torrential and our parking spot was on Church Street—all the way across the Sassinoro triangle and up half a block. We waited in the car a few minutes for the rain to let up. Then I scolded myself for being so ridiculous as to think walking that distance from my car to Quimbaya was an inconvenience. Heck, when I lived in Manhattan and Queens as a young adult, I would have considered this distance from a subway exit to my destination to be unbelievably close. Something about living in a home that frequently requires getting in a car and driving someplace, a place that often provides a parking lot, shifts ones expectations of “convenience”. Walking down Main after an inspiring conversation with a fantastic woman in our community, during most of which Levon quietly and slowly ate a bowl of ice cream, I gave him a choice. If we turn left, we get in the car and go to Stop n Shop. If we turn right, we walk to the Joseph G. Caputo Center and see an exhibit.
Yippee! We turned right. Perhaps it was the spring blooms and brilliant greens glistening from rain that had thankfully taken a break that prompted my greater than usual appreciation of the beauty of the aqueduct path—this tucked away little patch of nature that meets history and ingenuity, right in the heart of our village. Upon arriving at the Caputo Community Center, we were treated to two exhibits. The first was paintings by senior citizens who study art every Thursday at the community center. The second was the Sing-Sing Prison exhibit. I was relieved that Levon passed right by Old Sparky, and instead we spent some time discussing the Croton Aqueduct and looking at the model which helped him make sense of this landmark in engineering.
On this gloomiest of days, my heart sings with gratitude that I live in Ossining. Right now our village is bursting with art: the remarkable Bicentennial Sculpture Exhibit; the rotating Ossining Art Council exhibits at The Firehouse Gallery at 117 Main Street; the Ossining School District Art Exhibit at the library illuminating the talents of our youngest community members; and the exhibit at the Caputo center showcasing the talents and passions of Ossining’s senior community members.
Sometimes I write because I want to let others know about an upcoming event. Sometimes I write because I want to be on the record with my position. Sometimes I write to try and convince others to see things my way. Today I write for me. Today I write because I sometimes hear myself starting to sound like a bureaucrat, a small thinker, a pessimist. Today I write to wash away the negativity and nay-saying that I hear so often from folks who feel disappointed in their village and tell me their concerns in hopes that I’ll fix them. Today I write to nourish my determination with the optimism and joy that was shared with me by the woman I met with this morning at Quimbaya. Today I write.