Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Our Place

On May 28, 2014 I spoke at a joint meeting of the CA Board and the Inner Arbor Trust in support of what is now called Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods. I brought both of my daughters for moral support, and also because I wanted them to see what community advocacy looks like. I know that the meeting was contentious because I found this observation today in my Facebook memories:

You can't get up in a public meeting, say, "let's be objective" and then proceed to spew a lot of opinionated horse-twaddle.

Yes, I wrote  that. And I had reasons, but I won’t name any names.

On Saturday morning I sat in the cool shade of an old tree and took in the sights and sounds of FantasyWood, a three day festival in that very park we were fighting for at the meeting back in 2014. Parents walked by with strollers, teens and young adults in cosplay garb, a group of girls were picnicking on the grass nearby and celebrating a birthday party.

The park was alive with music, and play, and children dancing on the lawn. I sat under my tree and drank it all in. How grateful I am to be connected to this place. How grateful I am to all the people who came out and spoke on behalf of this park. It truly “took a village”.

From “Chrysalis Views”:

There is nothing in Columbia like it. The Chrysalis will forever transform Columbia by changing how we engage with the Symphony Woods land around Merriweather. It will host performances of varying sizes and gatherings of all kinds. Some will take place directly under its outstretched arches. Some will spread out into the surrounding landscape--picnics on quilts, children dancing on the lawn.

This shared community space speaks to what Columbia was meant to be, what it is, and what it can be. As time goes on, our memories will become peopled with recollections of times we spent here. The Chrysalis will become as intertwined with who we are as fireworks at the Lakefront or summer concerts in the shadow of the People Tree.

It will be Our Place.

"I'll meet you at the Chrysalis," we'll say, knowing that good things await us in the woods.

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