Walk, bike, skate, take the number 6 bus, or drive if you must,to MLK and Skidmore. Walk one block west to NE Garfield. Stand on the SE corner of that intersection. From this vantage point you can see 4 churches. If you lean out into MLK you can see Forest Park across the river.
If you stand here for a few minutes it is likely that you will see or hear one of the following: a crow, a scrub jay, a seagull (often perched on top of the white church steeple one block south), an ambulance, police car, or fire engine, a bicycle (perhaps a man with an orange hat riding the bicycle), a car with the windows down and the bass cranked way up, children running, crying and laughing on the fenced in playground. Depending on the time of year and which way the wind is blowing you will either smell the magnolia blossoms from across the street, the paint fumes from the car repair a block south, or, on special and rare occasions, the cookie breeze from the surprisingly distant Nabisco factory. If you look across the street you might see or hear chickens.
Along the east side of Garfield is a 7 foot strip of grass that runs between the sidewalk and the fenced in playground that has slowly been turning into a garden over recent years. Various friends, neighbors and volunteers from Garfield, from the church building, Friends of Trees and the community at large, have purchased, donated, planted, watered, pruned, tidied and otherwise cared for this little garden. It can be your garden too.
The northern-most of the two large maples holds the letter box. Leave your stamped impression and be sure to leave it high and dry, out of view and secure when you leave.
If you are so inclined and would like to make this letterbox adventure also a journey in kindness, belonging and connecting with nature, we invite you to bring a plant to add to our garden to make it yours as well. For best results:
• Choose a plant that will fit the location (small native plants or bushes- Oregon grape, snowberry, blueberry, huckleberry, roses, lavender, rosemary or bulbs camas, tulips, daffodils, part to full sun, one that requires little water since we rely on the rain and occasional spot watering)
• Make an effort to plant it in a place that will make it easy for the caretaker to do regular maintenance with a lawnmower- ie cluster with other plants.
• Bring what you need to plant – a trowel, the plant, some water, and make sure the plant is protected and identifiable- a stake, flag or cage will keep others from squashing, stepping on or weedwacking it.
Share your kindness with the plants and creatures you meet on your visit. May all who visit here be well, happy and at peace.