Freedom Park in Charlotte has been one of my favorite places for a long time. Over the years, it’s become very meaningful to me. I’ve spent countless hours there both alone and with others. I have a picture of this park in my dining room, and it’s also part of a piece of art in my bedroom. It’s a place I continue to return to time and again.
Yesterday, instead of walking out the door to run, I drove to Freedom Park and went for a run in that area. I do run along the streets around where I live, but sometimes it’s nice to visit a different location. With a pretty good sense of direction, I don’t ever plan a route. I just go, and figure it out along the way.
The area around Freedom Park has many beautiful houses, streets and landscapes. Running past houses I’ve been inside, navigating sidewalks I’ve walked with friends, retracing steps along the park’s entrance and around the lake; was all somehow healing to me.
I’m very aware that the Charlotte half marathon I’ve signed up for is now two and a half months away. Last year, I intellectually committed to doing it, then failed to physically commit to training. This year is different, so why not intentionally choose to train in some of my favorite places?
Later this month, I’ll be at Freedom Park for the festival in the park event for the first time in twelve years. The last time, I was with my ex husband and some former friends. This year, I’ll be with entirely new people. Some whom I’ve only met and connected with in recent months. New memories are being created in a favorite space on so many levels.
I like having spaces that are sacred to me in some way. Spaces that regardless of whether I’m alone, or with those I love, feel meaningful. There’s something intimate about returning to such a place. They hold a history that is unique to me. My home is very much the same type of sacred space. For both places, regardless of how the people I choose to share them with may change; the constant is me.
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