Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Serenity at Noon

Posted: August 28, 2018 in Life's Design
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After breakfast—actually, brunch since I slept in this morning—at Chris’ at the Docket restaurant, I walked to the Gateway Arch National Park, which is often my destination following breakfast. Today the 85° temperature is quite pleasant for the walk compared to the 90s we’ve been having.

I arrived at the park in time to see the geyser across the river. It is the tallest geyser in the United States and third tallest in the world. Many people look at it and don’t know what they are seeing and thus ignore the awesomeness of it. A few people I met today while walking near the Arch were impressed when I told them about it.

I walked around to the west side of the north reflecting pond and found a grassy spot to make this brief journal entry. It is quite pleasant sitting here looking out at the pond.

The small grove of eight cypress trees provides wonderful shade. Here and there are small groups of three to five people taking a noon respite from their current pursuits. There are office-workers enjoying ​lunch away from the thrum of the city and visitors to the Arch taking A pause from their walk around the park.


A dad and his two young girls, an Asian family by the sound of their conversation, are having fun taking pictures with a phone. Just now, the mother walks up and sits with them, leans in, and a fun selfie is snapped. Such scenes are replicated throughout the park. The Gateway Arch National Park is one of Saint Louis’ best family attractions that brings thousands to the city and provides space for residents to cultivate serenity in their life’s design.

I have been away from this blog for a year and a half. My life’s design has changed and morphed into something new and different. Perhaps future pages on this blog will open those months so we can have a dialogue about how life’s designs evolve. In the meantime, I hope to give life to this space once again with random posts about the different shapes and hues of color presented as life around, in, and through us brings about kaleidoscopic designs, which are never the same, always changing, and always beautiful.

To begin these pages, here is a brief thought about downtown Saint Louis, my home.

After a haircut this morning, I walked over to Starbucks at 6th and Olive. It’s a corporate shop that is in the shadow of the former Macy’s/Famous-Barr department store. A department store had been in that building for over 100 years until Macy vacated it a couple of years ago. That was a sad day for downtown St. Louis. Attempts to fill the huge one-block-square space have been futile. One exciting prospect early on was for a small foot-print Target. Nothing materialized from those discussions. So, this huge building of one block square and twenty-three stories in the heart of downtown St. Louis sits empty.

While most of the empty downtown buildings have been reclaimed, several empty ones remain. Just down the street from the Macy building is the Arcade Building being redeveloped by Webster University. This is another large building, which in its heyday was one of, if not the first, indoor mall, thus the name Arcade. There was a huge two-story atrium that ran the length of the building from Olive to Pine with shops lining it on both levels. My understanding is that there will again be shops in the building but that a large portion of the space will be apartments and that the rest of the building will house a university satellite, maybe it’s MBA program.

Looking out on the cross streets I watched pedestrians walking back and forth to and from their offices as I sipped a venti decaf skinny Caramel Macchiato. There is a Jimmy John’s delivery guy on a bike and the corner hamburger stand, both busy about the delivery of food. This pleasant scene gave the appearance of already being in the lazy hazy days of summer. With the sun casting a filigreed shade through the trees lining the street, the city seemed at peace with itself, unhurried yet exhibiting purposeful movement of economic enterprises that propels it ever onward.

On my return home, I stopped at my favorite spot for a Greek salad. Being just after twelve noon, the servers were comfortably busy with patrons filling the tables, regulars picking up carry-out, and a few diners tolerating the wind and sun and cool air to sit on the patio.

I had a moment’s conversation with the server when he came to pick up my empty salad bowl. I continue to be amazed by how much people reveal of their personal lives. I simply asked him an innocent “how’s it going” or something like that and he began to tell me that he was tired and doesn’t know why because he has been off work for two days and spent much of the time sleeping. His sister is out of town on vacation with her family and he is house-sitting and taking care of their puppy. He said, “That’s a lot better than being alone.” With his warm and engaging almost shy smile he told me all of that in less than a minute. That was his answer to my simple “How’s it going”? An almost oxymoronic thought entered my head: This busy restaurant seemed at peace with itself.

Peace is not the antithesis of busy. As I thought about the peaceful hustle in the business district, so it was in this small coffee/wine bar at noon-time rush, seriously busy while concurrently at peace.