Out back, behind our building is a courtyard. There are trellises- painted green, wooden planters, and a few plastic chairs. All this is set on a vast (for Manhattan,) concrete rectangle, with a shuffleball court at one end.
Our last superintendent, Maxwell, took joy in keeping it up. Throughout his years of service, the trellises were covered in vines, the planters overflowing with green in Summer, and tulips in early Spring, and the concrete slabs of the yard itself swept daily. Even the iron furniture was painted each May. Since however, he was retired several years ago, his successor, who does not share Maxwell’s passion, has not kept it up, and entropy and weather have gotten the better of things.
When, while in the city I wish to meditate outside, I set my cushion down at the most derelict end of the courtyard. There’s a rough wall there— a scar left when a public school was torn down in 1967, to build the apartment building I live in, and a low ledge to lean my back against.
Cigarette butts left
in potted plant: small reverence
for growing things.