So with the rain finally gone and before the weather turns cold again, Loki and I decided to go for a walk today. He had not yet been introduced to new 4th Ward Historic Park's really rockin' cool water detention pond and I was beyond curious about how it had done its job through the flooding rains of the last two days. The walk is one I have done so many times I have lost count - alone or with friends, on hard-hat tours with dignitaries and on private occasions with family visiting from out of town. I adore the park and am so very proud of the work done by my City - I proudly show it off to anyone who will let me. This time is was Loki's turn.
Both of us put on our sweaters and headed out. No need for an umbrella, the day was misty but no forecast of rain. We walked down North Ave and through Freedom Park, past a community garden and playground, and under the Beltline bridge, past the old Excelsior Mill (which I still won't call the Masquerade) and stepped onto the new plaza that now connects 4WHP to North Ave. She is resplendent in her flowing sidewalk gown and bejeweled with sparkling blue glass rocks beneath newly planted trees. A splash of color that makes her glow at night.
As we walked, two children riding bikes came to a stop on the plaza and did exactly what I did the first time I saw them, they reached down to pick up a blue glass rock to see if the rocks were 'real.' They asked if they could pet Loki who was eagerly pulling on his leash for their attention and we chatted for a moment before we all continued on our respective journeys. When had I ever seem children riding bikes on this part of North Ave? I could not remember. As the happy children rode away two adults came strolling across the plaza.
The elder man and his younger male companion were deep in conversation with their heads pulled in close, eyes down seeming not to notice the beautiful blue stones or the newly planted grass, they walked the path with such familiarity as though they had done so a hundred times before. But of course they could not have, no one could. It had been a desolate blacktop parking lot just a few short weeks before. But now it connects us to playgrounds and pond and life and conversation. Fit for strolling.
The detention pond was very full, the water was muddy and the level was higher than I had ever seen, but the geese didn't seem to mind and the plants around the pond, meant to survive when the water level rose, were doing just fine. Children's voice rang out around the pond. Dogs barked (and drove Loki to distraction). Voices of people walking and chatting and getting caught up with friends. Laughter. Life. Conversations.
We circled the pond once and I took a few photos to document Loki's first trip to the Park, then headed home. Back up North Ave, past historic buildings in the throes of gentle renovation, under an old bridge being rejuvenated for a new purpose, across a park that had started life as a freeway and finally back through the doors of my childhood home. A very satisfying morning walk.