I was always a city person; I loved seeing people walking on the street or waiting for the train, all with different issues, simple or complex. I loved the tall buildings that looked like they could reach heaven, and those shiny billboards that told you which new phone you TOTALLY needed to buy. All those things are man made, the trains, the buildings, the billboards, and even the simple or complex issues.
On a particular day, however, I noticed something that was always in the background in the rawest way possible. It was a typical Friday night, and I was coming back home to my apartment from work, walking like every other day, except this time I saw police lights and yellow tape in the park right across the street. I then decided to crossed the street to check out what had happened. I learned that the police had found a middle aged man dead in the park, and apparently he had killed himself, according to the suicide note found just beside him.
The police said it had been around that he had last been seen around his apartment complex, and that he had been found just minutes before I arrived. I asked what the note said, because I was a noisy and obnoxious person, who felt entitled to read such an intimate thing. Well, since we live in this noisy and obnoxious world, the police didn’t care a rat’s butt about the note, so they handed it to me.
The note said, “I’m tired of this man made world. They are just so blind about the things that are keeping us alive. I just want to die alongside the most precious thing this world has to offer before people destroy it all, Nature.”
The old man’s death event brought up lots of questions about life, and made me wonder if what I was seeing was really the whole picture. Funny enough, for the three months that I had lived there, I’d never noticed the park that was right across the street from my apartment.
I handed the note back to the police officer and headed back inside. I didn’t sleep at all that night, just stayed up wondering what things I’d missed because of my “blindness.” The next morning, I treated myself with some coffee and fruit, since I didn't have work that day and that was my, “I deserve this,” kind of thing. Just when I finished breakfast, I went down the check the state of the park. Unsurprisingly enough, the body wasn’t there, but all the blood and stuff was still painting the park like carnival.
I tried to observe what kind of special thing would make someone want to die here. That was when I realized how beautiful and awful the park truly was. How there were different kinds is flowers, plants, and this big beautiful tree right in the middle, but also how dirty, disorganized, and neglected it was, all at the same time. It saddened me to think that this park was the only thing the man had thought beautiful enough to be a place for him to die. I wouldn't wish for someone else to suffer the same kind of fate, and to think, this park was the representation of Nature itself! I wanted to open people’s eyes to the things we were missing, like nature. I wanted to start with what I could, and the park seemed good enough. I thought I could reach out to the owner, try to strike a deal to buy the park, and then remodel it to show people its true beauty. That was when I realized my calling was not working the night shift at McDonalds to save enough money to become the lawyer I always thought I wanted to be. Yeah, maybe I would be throwing my life away just because a suicide letter changed the way I viewed things, but the letter itself hadn’t even been that life changing (as if they should be), but it had been the necessary step for me to consider what mattered for the sake of humanity. Or, maybe, that was just an excuse to free myself from the impossible expectations I had grown tired of living with. Whatever the case, I contacted the supposed owner of the park to settle some kind of deal.
Luckily for me, the owner had wanted to get rid of the park for a long time and the whole suicide thing wasn’t going to help her sell it, so she thanked me dearly and gave me a special price, two-thousand dollars. It was a fairly small park, but it was just the right size to settle a statement. I didn't have enough money to hire people to help remodel, so I started cleaning by myself, slowly but surely. It took me two days, but it finally looked decent enough for the standards of the city. Then, I started my own research into different kinds of flowers and plants for the park. They were all beautiful, but this one flower caught my attention the most. The name was the Blanket Flower. I loved the concept of putting it in the park as a sort of memorial to the man who rested there (whose name, I found, was Kai Peterson), using this flower as a blanket to cover him in his eternal sleep.
It took months of patience and saving money, but the park was finally finished, just as I wanted, a place where people could take a deep breath and finally see the beauty of nature, a place that was truly worthy of someone to resting in peace, a place that would be the reminder of something that should not be in the background of our lives, but rather front and center, and a place to always respect the beauty, gifts, and opportunities that nature has given us as humans in the process of our evolution.