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a walk in the park
some thoughts on the last day of spring
by ferrell rosser
6.30.09
general


The other day I went to a park here in Colorado Springs to take a walk. The park is only a couple of years old, but Id never been before. I finally went, one Saturday, just before the sun set behind the Front Range Mountains. When I got there, I heard tome music coming from a stage set up at the main entrance: a party was just winding down; the music was great. America the Beautiful Park isnt very big, but it is pleasant if you overlook the delayed construction. I walked around the pathways, admired the little ponds and the many benches. The lawns were well-kept and looked perfect for picnics or an impromptu Frisbee game. The flower plots were just beginning to bloom, but the huge, Stargate-like Julie Penrose Fountain hadnt been turned on yet, the next day being the first day of summer. The view of Pikes Peak was only a little obscured by the foliage along the little river. Unlike in recent years, this little river was fairly full, running through the middle of town like a real river should, not like the anemic trickle it usually is.
As I walked along the path, I had to take a detour around some unfinished construction; I wondered when the city could afford to finish it, Colorado Springs not being immune to the current epidemic of financial woes plaguing the country. As I reached the point where the path ran under the bridge, I noticed items up under the bridge; a mattress peeking out between the rocks, plastic bags stuffed into the spaces between the concrete abutments of the structure. I realized that people lived there. Emerging from under the bridge, I decided to turn around and wander back to the park proper. After walking back under the bridge, I turned off the pavement and onto a gravel path overlooking the riverbanks. As I walked along, I took in the scene; Ive always enjoyed the peacefulness of rivers. However, as I walked above the rivers banks, I noticed make-do shelters, tents, and lean-tos; in a word, hovels. As I looked at them, I finally noticed what the MC was saying; they were having a fund-raiser for Lupus. The pleasant walk next to the calming riverscape had suddenly turned into a sad commentary on life at the end of the first decade of the 21st century.
Homelessness that I had only before seen in old black-and-white photos from the Great Depression; community driven funding for disease research; simple landscaping of city parks going undone due to a lack of funds; The last day of spring 2009, in Colorado Springs, had a beautiful sunset over the mountains and a gorgeous looking landscape, but it concealed a bitter truth: with all our advancements over the last eighty years, we are once again on the brink of disaster. Lets hope we dont blindly fall off the precipice.


ABOUT FERRELL ROSSER

I'm a young grandfather, amateur writer, college graduate, and enjoy reading all sorts of things. I have strong opinions, but am willing to change my mind if presented with compeling facts, however, not just someone elses' opinion.

more about ferrell rosser

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