Wednesday, April 18, 2012
When I was just a toddler, my hometown landscape changed forever. In a matter on months nearly 50 years ago the skyline was altered to display a new shiny monument known world-wide as The Gateway Arch.
Because I left St. Louis before coming into adulthood, I had a dream to return to my hometown and work for one of the many businesses that overlooked this massive symbol of westward expansion. As determination prevailed, I did return home permanently just over 20 years ago .
The first employment position I secured was with a law firm in the Metropolitan Square Building, the tallest office building in the St. Louis skyline. I was grateful to see phase one of my dream realized, though I didn't realize it at that time. I never took it for granted and reflected several times when looking out the window of that high-rise at such a rich historical significance of the Arch. St. Louis, after all, is the starting point for many of Americans who settled the Louisiana Purchase Territory so many years ago.
After working for a few other well-known local employers, I am now experiencing phase two of this dream. In my present position, I now work literally in the shadows of the Gateway Arch on the only plot of land that has never changed hands in the 200 year history of the City of St. Louis. For the past 4 years, I come to this river-view setting and sit at a desk plugging away at routine administrative duties. I'm only here three days a week, and at first I did take it for granted. Now I see it all so differently.
Because of SparkPeople and my new-found motivation to "get up and get moving," I now get outside to walk the Gateway Arch Trail that goes around this monumental national treasure. [The Fitness Maps feature allows me to get exact distance and log duration so I know the calories I burn each time I make my journey.]
Each time I make the routine journey along my Fitness Map, I see new happenings and listen to busy river traffic. Several times I've paused a the request of tourists to snap a photo. Today I saw a family picnicking in the fresh-cut lawn, a couple bus loads of senior tourists marveling at the size of the Arch, elementary school children playing chase in the grass, business professionals pausing for lunch on a bench, and many walkers and joggers using their lunch hour to get in precious minutes of fitness. There were a few cargo barges carrying grain, I suppose, down river. Even the historic paddle boat had a load of tourist passengers making it's way with the current of the mighty Mississippi River.
All the time I was reminding myself "Don't take these gifts for granted. You are living your dream."
I am blessed. Thank you!