Blooming Trees, South Knoxville, Sevier Avenue, Knoxville, March 27, 2020
I’m taking a lot of walks (and assiduously avoiding proximity to others). Of course, I always take my camera, often looking for scenes emblematic of the current situation. But not always. Sometimes a scene is simply pretty. Or interesting. Despite what is going on in human world, Spring is springing in natural world. It’s worth a walk and (so far) they tell us that is ok. It was a little eerie at first, but it can also be comforting.
With fewer people out, it’s a bit easier to notice little details and nuances of the city. I love noticing something new and surprising in a spot I’ve passed dozens of times before. It’s like an Easter egg hunt, but more like a charm hunt. Just little charms inside windows or down alleyways. I like to think I’ve always looked for those things, but now is a special opportunity.
And what is it about water that makes us happy, gives us comfort, and inspires us? These people show that social distancing doesn’t have to be a drab experience. Of course, those of us who don’t have a boat will have to do with walking across a bridge or walking along the river, but that’s not so bad. Get to some water, if you can, and let it comfort you.
Knoxville’s current Poet Laureate, Marilyn Kallet, wrote a poem to inspire us during this difficult time. WBIR put these wonderful images with the poem. April is national poetry month, and I think this poem and these images fit nicely right here. I hope you enjoy Marilyn’s words. I’m thankful Knoxville has her to lift us up just a little.
Construction continues to happen. Whether you can see it in the picture or not, there are workers present. I hope they are staying safe and I will say that they seemed scattered about. The other thing I see in these photos is a continuity that I need right now. Plans are being made, the future is being built. There will be another day.
I really appreciate the inspirational messages appearing here and there. The Bijou and the Tennessee are doing a good job of offering hope and encouragement to passersby. The best inspiration I find when I walk around the city are the furtive little smiles, as if we are somewhat uncertain to open up to each other at this point, but we can’t help it. It feels good to see other people, even from six, ten, or twenty feet away.
This was an interesting scene, medical students posing in scrubs with stethoscopes in Krutch Park. They were too close for my comfort, but it was a group of fewer than ten, so they are technically within the guidelines. I was happy to see their joy. I assume they are graduating soon. I thought about what they are facing and moved on with mixed feelings.
If you haven’t experienced the murals along Sevier Avenue, it’s worth the walk to check them out. I know some of them were done or organized by Perry Hodson and an event dubbed Knox Ill that painted a number of the walls. I’m not sure they did these, but it’s a great walk, it’s free, and it was simply done to make the community a bit cooler. It makes a walk from the city over to Suttree Landing Park or one of the businesses along the Avenue a bit more interesting.
Finally for today, there’s something profoundly sad about an empty playground at an elementary school, particularly when it should be filled with running, laughing, and screaming children. Joy silenced. Still, it is waiting for them on the other side, which is a hopeful note. And the messages left by staff on their marquee deliver love and hope throughout the day and night. I hope the children are reading. I long for them to have a happier day, playing with their friends on the now empty playground.