1. Pocket Park
Sometimes it happens in the spring sometimes in the fall, but it never happens in the summer. This weekend Trudy marshaled her energies and gathered folks for our neighborhood’s contribution to Austin’s It’s My Park Day.
A fledgling park down the street was born recently when the city bought several parcels of land along a utility easement that was once upon a time going to be a street. Despite the intentions of the Planning Department and the hopes of the speculator who owned the four plots, there will be no street, for it would have paved over what has become a pleasant spot of greenery, and years ago during a city land use planning exercise the neighborhood let the city know our views.
So those plots are now a pocket park, albeit a park in need of nurturing: enter the fair and industrious Trudy.
2. Thinning the Thicket
Trudy and John assigned Bob and me a simple task. It had been suggested to them by the city: thin a thicket of junipers that was growing near a bend in the trail so that a breeze might blow thru and eyes might see beyond.
“This is a job David would like,” John suggested when they met to plan the day. The two of them had strategized this as a way to entice me. It worked.
With our simple marching orders, Bob and I went off for several hours while other folks focused on other things in other places. Bob and I were quite content to be left alone in that one place with that one thing to do.
3. A Fine Meditation
The night before and into the early morning, it had rained long and slow. The ground was soft. Our shoes were caked with mud. Great drops of water fell from the treetops as we trimmed.
As Bob and I worked, the drizzle stopped. The skies were mercifully cloudy, the temperatures cool. I took off my raincoat and threw it on the ground.
Bob and I pushed our way into the tangle knot of juniper branches that slapped against our arms and tried in vain to poke us in the eyes. As our piles of cut branches grew, the voices of the others in the distance would drift thru the undergrowth. Frequently I could hear Trudy laughing.
I must concede this: John and Trudy found us a wonderful task. Because with the sound of her laughter joyfully rolling thru my head, with the comforting cadence of swift saw strokes and with the smell of juniper resin drifting in the air, the quality of that morning meditation in our fledgling park was indeed quite fine.