Cheesman Park. How do I love thee... let me count the ways. It's another windy afternoon, but I have made time to sit in my favorite spot one last time before leaving Denver.
As I enter from 10th street the energy is immediate. There are people are walking, running, sitting, and lying in the grass. Donning a t-shirt that reads "there was nothing before Elvis," a mentally unstable young man is both singing and screaming at the cars passing by his park bench. Just a few steps away, an artist soaks up the sun while documenting his afternoon on a propped up 3' x 3' canvas. I continue past them until I reach the steps of the historic pavilion, where I stop to cool my legs on my makeshift marble chair. As songs steadily stream through my iPod, I can't help but imagine the operas and square dances that took place here decades before.
Perched above the diversity, I sit looking down on the slab of land that has always brought a sense of peace and acceptance; you are free to be who you are in the ethereal beauty of this playground. I'm grateful it was a part of my neighborhood, offering a place to reflect, ponder, walk, write, run and dream. It is here where I have always felt content to be a misfit... exchanging smiles with strangers and never feeling judged.
Like me, this park has an unsettled history. I've also heard plenty of stories about what goes on here when the moon replaces the sun, but this landmark will always be one of the places on my journey where I feel a rare sense of home. Whether you believe it is haunted or enchanted ground, there is no denying the power of this beautiful landscape gracefully tucked amid the urban surrounds. Thank you Cheesman Park for all you have done for my artistry and spirituality... see you the next time I roll through Denver.