Slowing Down

For me March was always the kick off to camping season. Finding a cabin early in the season then in April heading to our family campsite on the Olympic Peninsula for opening day of fishing; May and June to Eastern Washington before it gets too hot and that itch to go and explore is still there. To combat that sense of go, go, go I walk since it’s now my only form of escape. What I noticed this time around, since I have the time and don’t feel a need to rush, I actually pay more attention to my surroundings.

Still image from 10 Parks That Changed AmericaI found a pocket park near my house. A tribute to fallen motorcyclists with trees and placards honoring those who had passed. Walking through slowly I read all the names and couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it before. Maybe because it was next to a busy street and so more of a place we pass then visit, but not that day. That had me thinking of other places that were once other things made beautiful, made whole. In 10 Parks That Changed America, available through Access Video, two Seattle parks are highlighted, Freeway Park and Gas Works Park. Freeway Park reconnected the city in a new and modern way and Gas Works took a scab and healed it, while still honoring its past. I feel that same feeling along Ruston Way and Dune Peninsula in Tacoma, seeing a new vision and a place of healing after the removal of the Asarco copper smelter.

Cover image of The StopGardens are another thing that have caught my eye more and more, especially the Food is Free Tacoma Project, which takes front yards and turns them into gardens for all. Along with community tables to share food from the garden as well as canned items and other goods. Similar to the P-Patch community gardening of Seattle this creates a sense of community and unity, but also gives strength back to those that need it most. Food insecurity now more then ever is at the forefront of our lives. In Nick Saul’s The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement is one pathway through generosity and connection to view food as a public good. It advocates that access to good healthy food is a benefit to the community as a whole.

Cover image of Practical Projects for Self-SufficiencyAnother thing you can’t help but hear, honestly before I even open my front door, is projects! Gardening, mowing, building, cleaning, repairing, anything involving labor is happening near me every step I take. I see new fences, decks, pathways, flowers, plants, compost bins, rain barrels–just about anything and everything. And while some of these things are due to a quick trip to the hardware store, others are simply the DIY life. Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency: DIY Projects to Get your Self-Reliant Lifestyle Started by Chris Peterson offers a few of the many projects I’ve seen the past few weeks. I also love to follow Tacoma blogger, Liz Morrow, who truly lives the DIY life.

Sometimes taking things slow can lead to amazing discoveries.

~posted by Kara P.

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