Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Celebrating Something New

In one of my favorite movies, "A Thousand Clowns", Jason Robard's character Murray likes to go down to the docks to see off cruise ships. He explains, "It’s a great thing to do when you are about to start something new; it gives you the genuine feeling of the beginning of things."

That's the feeling I got when I volunteered at the Inner Arbor Trust booth at Wine in the Woods. People stopped to look at pictures of the plan, ask questions, share their own opinions. The response was overhwhelmingly favorable. The most asked question--

"How soon is this going to happen?"

There was a time when the concept of Columbia was

  • New
  • Daring
  • Cutting-edge
  • Ground-breaking
  • Creative
  • Breaking the Mold

Columbia was meant to bring the force of change to community-building: to transform old patterns with new ideas and transform our way of living for the better. The Inner Arbor plan brings exactly that spirit to Symphony Woods. I continue to be astonished that there are people who experienced the joy and excitement of Columbia's beginnings who refuse to allow that same joy and excitement to the residents of today and tomorrow.

I have attended multiple CA Board meetings and spoken in support of this park. I will keep coming back as often as necessary, and I am not alone. The voice of this park is carried by young professionals, families, children, and even in the words of long-time residents who recognize themselves and their values in the creation of something new for all to share.

One of the things we can all admire about James Rouse is that when he looked in the mirror, he saw something more than himself. He saw a responsibility to make the world better. These words describe it well:

"Without vision, there is no power. By building an image of the possible, we not only leap over a lot of roadblocks that would defeat us, we also generate a whole new constituency of people who want to see that image realized...For many years I have lived and worked with the conviction that what ought to be, can be, with the will to make it so..."

If Columbia is to live on and thrive, we must connect with that "whole new constituency of people" who can invest in its future by choosing or maintaining Columbia as their home. This imaginative, visionary plan for a people's park in the heart of our Downtown is crucial to our continued success as a community.


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