07 October 2012

Shelby Park 100: CELEBRATE!!

I miss East Nashville. I don't think anyone anywhere could dispute that fact. My friends in Nashville have been there for me--keeping me entertained and creative--for the better part of the last 12 years . . . 

And, that's why I am so proud and honored to share with you the above video that was put together for next weekend's big Shelby Park celebration.  

On October 13th from 10 - 5pm, a local organization, Friends of Shelby Park, is hosting Shelby Park's 100th Anniversary Centennial Celebration. My friend Mona starting working on this event last October when she asked me to facilitate games and arts-based activities for young people. I quickly accepted the position because I hadn't yet been offered my full time job in Singapore, and knowing how much I used the park during my time in East Nashville, it was the least I could do!

During the past year, Charlotte and I walked 2 miles every morning in Shelby Park. We got up around 530am every day and started out around 6am. In my opinion, it was the absolute best time to see the park. Everything was starting to wake up: the trees, the birds, the geese, the ducks, everything. I became friends with the fishermen that would show up early and--during the summer months--the guys who mowed the lawn. They all marveled at how pretty Charlotte was and we would talk about the weather, simple pleasantries. It was absolutely beautiful, and the peace I needed to start my day.

Every morning I would take my camera in hopes of capturing the energy of our walks there. In the fall, the lake would be covered with a spooky fog and spider webs would hang out of the trees. When December started, light frost would blanket the entire property--fence posts, tree limbs, berries--and the crunch underfoot seemed like it echoed through the trees.  When spring started up, I would keep count of the baby ducks and geese that hatched and watch them grow.  

One time, we spotted this giant square-shelled snapping turtle walking across the trail to a big mud bath on the other side. I tried to take pictures of him, but when he saw Charlotte and me, he actually turned around and tried to chase us off. We left him alone, but I still think how funny that was to be chased by one of the slowest animals on earth. Needless to say, we got away. Deer, rabbits, squirrels, fish, snakes, herons, geese, ducks, and let's not forget about the cicadas:  see video below. We had so many adventures on our morning walks at Shelby Park. 

Park preservation is important not only to the community of East Nashville, but to our country. And to the many, many generations to come. So, you should head over to East Nashville on October 13th and celebrate with Shelby Park:  have a blast! Spend the day there with friends and family.  Eat good eats! This is one big ol' party not to be missed . . . I will be there in spirit!

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