STL is a wonderfully kept secret. We've loved living here. This city has great food, festivals, family activities, theater, and, among other things, parks. The first time we ever saw our house, we sat on the front porch for a bit while our Realtor contacted the listing agent for showing instructions (sort of, but that's another story). I remember sitting with my husband, gazing down the tree-lined street, just barely able to see the edge of the park two and a half blocks down. Even before we really knew this place, the park made us fall in love with our neighborhood. Living here only added to that. I've run hundreds, probably thousands of miles in that park, at all times of day and all months of the year. And I've loved it. Running there has been my sanity during stressful times, my quiet time away from kids, my peace.
The other day I decided to go for a walk through the park after eating lunch nearby. I didn't mean for it to turn into a farewell, but that's what it quickly became. As I walked, I found myself reminiscing about different places in the park. My place attachment, and the severance of it, was emotional.
I breathed in the lush landscape of the park.
I stopped and remembered using the bench at the far end of this picture as the turn-around point for my early walks after having my younger son, when even that was a physical strain, but one I couldn't get enough of.
I took a moment remembering the happy pictures we had taken here of my baby's first birthday.
I took in all the varied pavilions, remembered the time I came across a loose chicken, the times I saw Clydesdales walking there, thought of getting lost in my thoughts and sometimes prayers as I ran mile after mile, sometimes before dawn, sometimes in snow, sometimes in unbearable heat. As I walked, I walked back through all my memories of this place.
It was hell. I've lived in a lot of places and run in a lot of settings, including Le Parc Monceau in Paris! But this, this has been my favorite running park. What awaits me in SLC? Will I love something there just as much? Only time will tell. The adventure begins in about five weeks; I hope you'll join me.
* watch for a 400th post/moving giveaway, coming soon!