The Heart of The Neighborhood

Photo by Lindsey Cacich Samples, on Valentine's Day Morning.

Photo by Lindsey Cacich Samples, on Valentine’s Day Morning.

Powderhorn Park – for many, it’s the Heart of the Neighborhood.

Walking around the lake, kids speaking Spanish with their parents. Or hearing stories from moms and dads who walked around the park sixty years ago, hearing *their* grandparents talk with other old folks in Norwegian.

Different language, but same story. Same lake.

Going to the May Day Festival, after all those long dark winter nights alone, but finally outside now, all of us together, worshipping the Sun’s Return and feeling Happy!!!

It’s no accident that May Day happens when it happens. It’s a real Springtime ritual, and so many people’s favorite Holiday.

Then there’s July 4th, people gathered in the dark with thousands of others in dozens of languages to watch the fireworks there.

(Or from an alley down the block while sitting in a lawn chair).

Snapping turtles, maybe even a fox that somebody wrote up on the Powderhorn listserve. An eagle stooping down to scoop up a fish and take it up high in a tree. Stopping to watch with whomever walks by.

It’s a common park occurrence. Strangers gather to see the Cooper’s Hawks feed their fledglings. Standing there for fifteen minutes, telling passersby to “Hey, Look up!” And now, these ten people or so are *neighbors*, passing binoculars from kid to kid so they can watch up close too. Sharing in this nature together.

Or simply walking alone through the park in the morning, maybe saying hi to the people out with their dogs. A guy who goes there every day told me, that where he grew up, only rich people had lakes. But now, *He* gets to have his own lake too. We all do.

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