Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Guardian of the Park

          There's mystery and whimsy at my local park. People chalk really cheesy original poems on the sidewalks in springtime and proudly sign their names.* Teenagers play some kind of monopoly-slash-hopscotch, chalking arcane and sometimes snarky instructions to each other (or possibly to random passers) on the sidewalks. Someone leaves a rose on one of the benches from time to time. Someone else glued toy army figures to one of the wrought-iron fences one winter. A lone Santa decorates a small blue spruce at Christmas time. I have no idea what any of it means (except for the stencilled "Believe" with arrowhead decoration that the groundskeepers have been unable to erase from the sidewalk by the little lake—that is a fruitless exhortation to demoralized Kansas City Chiefs fans to keep the faith).
          And from time to time, someone hangs something in the branches of a large pine tree.

          This is what was hanging there yesterday. Salmo trutta cyanensis, the elusive evergreen-dwelling blue trout. I don't know what it means.
          I just like the idea that, in the branches of that tree lurks a blue trout, watching us all—the dog-walkers and the power-walkers, the joggers and the picnickers and the pick-up soccer players.
         We come to the park; we pass by; and the blue trout remains, watching.

*Although I am no fan of the poetry itself, it's always done prettily, in colored chalk, so I give the actual words a miss and just enjoy the colors.

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