It was a beautiful day today as my dad, my brother-in-law and I drove down the road towards the park in Boise. I was born here in Boise and we lived here until I was 8. We past the old train station where we used to go meet the 3:00 am Amtrak train that would be bringing my aunt and my cousins for a week of fun. We drove down the hill where I would ride on the back of my mom’s bicycle for Monday night bike rides. We passed Elmer’s Pancake House where I loved to go eat because there was a wishing well right inside the door. So much history here, but no place holds more memories for me than the Greenbelt, a lovely walkway along the wide beautiful Boise River that flows gently beside Ann Morrison and Julia Davis Park. As a kid I used to imagine what Ann Morrison and Julia Davis looked like, figuring they must have been grand ladies because their parks are something to behold. The playgrounds, the fresh green grass, the Rose garden, the zoo of my childhood, the art museum with the big beautiful stained glass rotunda—it was all so beautiful. Along the Greenbelt you could see the big friendly river and watch the people in paddle-boats and inner tubes gently floating along. There were little hidden places of thick grass and twisted tree roots that I was certain housed shy but friendly leprechauns. The smell was even magical, and as I came across the bridge today and smelled that fragrance of summer and twilight, it was just like I was seven years old again.
It was fun to see the river and people enjoying the last of summer by floating on inner tubes or just simply going waiting. As I walked down the path, I saw a large tree that had leaves almost shaped like leprechaun hats. Perhaps a new millinery shop for the little people? There were some patches of clover along the way and yes…I did keep my eye out for those elusive four leaf luck charms. I walked to where we went as children and I thought about my mom and how it’s her birthday tomorrow. I thought about how most of the magic of this place was because she brought us here and genuinely played with us. It was a park that she went to as a child and now was passing it on to us. How lovely to have a park and a rose garden and an art museum and a river as part of your heritage, as if they were cherished heirlooms. One day I hope that I will bring my child here and show him or her the ducks that gather by the river and tell them that those ducks are perhaps the great grandchildren of the ducks that I used to feed with leftover Wonder Bread. I hope that I will be able to show them the bike trails we rode and the place where the Funspot used to be, where I would ride the Ferris wheel with my dad and feel safe. More than anything, that’s what I felt today as I walked along the Greenbelt…safety, peace. It was a beautiful day to remember beautiful memories in this city I first called home.