To the body and mind which have been cramped by noxious work or company, nature is medicinal and restores their tone. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Even though Forest Park is in the middle of the city, it feels like a small haven away from all the noise and discord of downtown. When you step onto it’s well-traveled paths among the trees and fountains (many of them planted and made for the 1904 World’s Fair), you can almost feel the history of the city. Much of this historical feel comes from the many mature and venerable buildings throughout the park, such as the Art Museum, The Muny, and The Jewel Box.
I’ve been to this park many times over the years. Growing up in St. Louis, you can’t and don’t want to avoid it. Many summer days spent at the Zoo are etched into my memory. However, I never spent much time walking among the trails in the park. On this particular Autumn day I decided to walk in the shadows of the Art Museum, down Art Hill where kids and adults alike sled in the winter, around the barreled trees that sit among the bridged waterways and ponds where paddle boats swim in the spring and summer.
There was a multicultural music event in the park and the sounds drifted over as I was walking along the shoreline of one of the waterways. No one was paddle boating, but the pup and I enjoyed the various birds and squirrels running around, and of course she needed to play with every dog that came into view.
What I liked most were the colorful trees, as I always do at that time of year. They paint a pretty picture with the backdrop of the crisp sky. But mostly I enjoyed a small chance to slip into a place of solitude among so many people, something that can be hard to do in today’s fast-paced world.