“He who enjoys it, owns it.”
Such was the case today. Mr. Taco Loco was closed, so I managed to score my high-volume dose of pico de gallo elsewhere. Given that the day was perfect, I got my food to go, and I visited one of my favorite places. Because I love y’all, I’ll share it with you. It’s hidden in plain sight, along Huntsville and Shiloh in Springdale. While it is on the property belonging to the Methodist Church I infrequently attend, no one will mind if you visit the pair of picnic tables I’ve grown accustomed to visiting. Just leave the place better than you found it, which is practical advice for so much of our lives.
When I sit under the shade tree, there are times that it feels like I’ve been covered in an opaque and silencing membrane. ‘Languid’ might be an excellent word to approximate the sensation. I’ve also sat under the tree with the wind howling and rain dotting my head. Whether the spot initially made me feel peaceful, I can’t recall – it might be that the sensation came to me later, and I’ve trained my mind to find it soothing.
One reason I love this little spot is that it is perfectly shaded for most of the day. Such was the case today. A squirrel and several birds kept me company as I spread my meal across the picnic table. Because I had an entire case of PopChips I’d bought earlier, I used the tortilla chips included with the TexMex meal to offer the animals. The breeze occasionally threatened to take away pieces of my packaging, but not so violently as to make it challenging to eat in peace. Sitting at the picnic table, you can watch the traffic speed by, even if you spend other seconds tossing the animals morsels, alternated with bites for yourself. Usually, I eat quickly. When I visit this little spot, I find myself slowing my pace. I spent forty-five minutes eating. Once the birds and squirrel finished their respective McMeals, I looked carefully at pictures of one of my friend’s lovesakes. (Lovesakes are keepsakes given in moments of unconditional love and appreciation.)
Before leaving, I spent a few minutes experimenting with my Seek app, vainly attempting to get the app to identify a strange insect that had landed on my salsa. I used a chip to remove it and place it on the table before discarding the salsa. I jokingly named the insect the “Salsapillar.”
As I got in my car and drove away, I felt the languid membrane of this little park slip away from me. The volume of the day, my tasks, and my to-dos once again echoed and billowed in my head.
If you’re in the mood to experience a little slice of Springdale a bit differently, pick up food from one of the eateries scattered nearby and bring it to this little bitty park. Enjoy the shade. And if you have a friend, bring them and discover if you both agree that, although it’s just a piece of land, it has a dusting of calming magic about it.