Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Paschal Joy and Urban Development

Wednesday greetings on a beautiful Spring day here in the Midwest. The daffodils and forsythia are finally in bloom here.

I am the kind of guy who appreciates the mystery and miracle that is Spring. The early morning and late afternoon sunshine this time of year is like none other. As the buds and leaves begin to awaken from their long hibernation inside those grey, lifeless branches, the way they capture that sunlight is magical around here.

Last week, while in Orlando at the NCEA convention, I got to spend time with some of my Australian colleagues and friends. They travel home this week, where the autumn season is taking its grip. For me, the paschal joy of this Easter Season is magnified by the joy of seeing the earth come to life again. I always wonder how our friends in the Southern Hemisphere feel when, as the weeks of the Easter Season unfold, winter begins to creep closer and closer. Would love to hear their perspective on this.

There is some sadness mixed in with all this paschal joy for me. Anyone who follows me on Facebook or reads this blog knows that I try my best to take full advantage of a small balcony at my home here in the city of Chicago. I live downtown and green space is at a premium. So, I fill that balcony with flower boxes and herbs, cultivating them all summer and really enjoying this little urban oasis. The balcony overlooks the courtyard of a restaurant adjacent to my building. It is filled with birds and squirrels, pines, and flowering trees. Well, urban development seems to be winning out over the urban oasis. The restaurant property has been sold to a developer. I attended a community meeting last night and voiced my own objections over what amounts to a complete destruction--the technical term, I found out, is "scraping"--of the entire property to make way for a congested two-building, 127-unit apartment complex. No more trees. No more birds and squirrels. No more pines or flowering trees. If this comes to pass, this will be a kind of death for me. I know this is definitely a "first-world problem," but this is all centered on corporate greed, in my opinion. I will still have the little balcony; perhaps those who will live just a few feet away will somehow appreciate the creation of my own little bit of paschal joy in downtown Chicago in the form of flower boxes and herbs. It's still a big "gggrrrrr" for me at this point, however.

Thanks for listening to this urbanite.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I understand your pain. I live in rural northern lower michigan. We are surrounded by forests which the DNR is raping through clear cutting leaving utter destruction. Just learned the forest beside our church comes down next year. I am sick at heart.