An Afternoon in Forsyth
Today, through a stroke of coincidence having a doctor’s appointment in the middle of the day and no wind suitable enough for lessons, I found myself with a free afternoon and nothing to do. So, with the sun shining and few clouds in the sky, I packed a bag with a towel, homemade pinole and a book and headed to Forsyth Park.
If you aren’t from Savannah, Forsyth Park is located in the heart of downtown Savannah. The park forms a mile square and within its boundaries one can find playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, large open fields for whatever suits you, a garden for the blind, winding paths through old oaks offering shade, a café and even a stage for events. Surrounding the park are charming historic homes and at the south end of the park is a popular coffee shop (The Sentient Bean) and an organic grocery store. The park holds a special place in the hearts of everyone here.
Since the heat of the day was well at its peak, I went straight to Sentient Bean to get a smoothie to cool down and a water for later. On my way back to the part of the park that I always find myself settling down at, I couldn’t help but be both fascinated and amused at all of the squirrels in the park. There were so many everywhere-running around, burying nuts, arguing with one another.
Once I found my spot and settled down, I knew I would have a fantastic day. My senses were assaulted by my surroundings. There was a magnificent blue sky with the little wispy clouds dotting it here and there and the sun felt amazing as always. As is the norm with the park on any day, people were everywhere. On the north end of the park near the stage, a large group of people had set up volleyball nets and were trading off in a continuous cycle of games. Dogs and their people came and went carrying an assortment of balls, Frisbees and the occasional poop bag. People lounged on their towels reading books or simply sleeping that hazy, half-sleep that always accompanies a warm day. In the distance, I could hear drums that someone played and closer to me, a full band…really…a full band had taken up and began playing.
I spent my time alternating between reading my book, sleeping, people watching and finding shapes in the clouds that occasionally floated by. The day was so simple. On my walk out of the park, I couldn’t help but note the change that had occurred since I arrived. There were less sun bathers, but more dog owners returning home from a day at the office. Parents played with their children at the playground while teenagers skateboarded around the stage. As I passed the fountain and listened to the water, I heard a man playing his violin beneath an oak and watched a new bride taking photographs that she will cherish for a lifetime.
I write this because, today, like other days, I was again amazed at the beauty of the world we live in and just how happy we can be if we just appreciate the simple things in life. We are consumed by this endless need to have more, to do more, to somehow accomplish more…that we forget to just BE. I am as guilty of this as anyone else, even if it seems that a life doing what I do cannot possibly have any of those stresses. Today, I took time and slowed down and reminded myself to enjoy the moment and be happy…find some time and do it for yourself.