Another Era

On Sunday we were transported back to another era.  It was like walking into a time tunnel to go up the wooded trail and find Echo Glen Park.  Located on the outskirts of DC, this little park first served as a Chautauqua in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s.  From that history, it was transformed into an amusement park that drew thousands of visitors who came by trolley from the crowded city of DC to enjoy the space and the trees, the arts and the amusements.

To this day it maintains some of its original Chautauqua character and serves as a site for artists and skilled craftspeople, as well as musicians and thespians, to practice, display and sell their crafts.  Most of the buildings have been restored to their original character and it was hard to remember we were walking through this beautiful little park in 2012.

As we walked and explored, just enjoying the interesting sights, we met an elderly couple who were doing the same.  The gentleman asked me if I used to come here when I was younger.  “No,” I responded, “I’ve never been here before in my life.”  He smiled a euphoric smile and explained:  “I used to come here all the time.  I learned to swim here.  Boy, this brings back the memories.  It was quite a place!  I used to love to come here.”

To make the most of our experience in this little time travel we rode the original, beautifully restored, carousel.  It was a thrill to mount the life-size wooden horses and flow with the calliope music.  I felt like I was a kid again!

There are so many ways to discover grace.  We can go back to a place filled with the memories of youth and where we discovered new skills, or, we can  discover a new place and revel in the grace that is present to us in this moment.  Try it!  There is nothing like grace – in this era or any other.

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