If you are very careful and very quiet, and if you meet the dawn at Berkeley Lake, you may see the Night Heron hunkering amongst the cattails and reeds; a solitary creature whose red eyes scrutinize your benign skulk near its perch; a shy creature whose song, while rarely heard, entrances.
You who believe Providence left you incomplete, not giving you wings, not giving you–or allowing you to forget??–a primordial connection to the good earth that the Night Heron knows; you who yearn to understand the simple gift of an existence that unerringly follows the imperatives of nature, the tit-for-tat balance engendered first by that primordial ooze that gave life to this blue planet; yes, you who cogitate a while about these things–perhaps at dawn at Berkeley Lake where you prize the gift of sight because you have been honored to see the Night Heron–do you wonder, as the Night Heron takes flight, if Kim Bailey, the supposed steward of these magnificent creatures, has ever tarried a moment to consider the responsibility of that stewardship?
Kim Bailey (links to prior posts are below), Denver’s Manager of Parks and Recreation is seeking–undoubtedly following the mantra of her boss, Mayor John Hickenlooper–to entrepreneurialize Denver’s parks. Specifically (link providing the specificity is below), by hook or by crook, Ms. Bailey is maneuvering to allow for-profit enterprises to commandeer portions of Denver’s parks for a day, two days, three days and allow for-profit enterprises to produce music festivals or, perhaps, other “cultural happenings” within our parks. Those events would see portions of Denver’s parks segregated by…um, armed militia? barbed wire? electrified barriers? concrete blocks? The segregation of those portions of our parks would be necessary because it is Ms. Bailey’s intent to allow only those who pay a fee to enter those sequestered areas. Yes, I know, we’re talking about OUR PARKS, our tax supported parks where our children play, where we stroll and loll, where some throw a line into dangerous waters, where we walk our dogs, where we meet our neighbors. And, yes, the invasion of paying revelers to these events would, naturally, require parking spaces and we all know that parking space in our parks is surely limited, but parking in the surrounding neighborhoods would, of course, be part of Ms. Bailey’s plan. And, oh, the booze. Nothing is so fine an accoutrement to a festival than lots of booze, beer…the fuel for a good time to be had by all. Then, of course, there is the music. Amplifiers. The boom of subwoofers rattling the china on the shelf. The squeal of the electric guitar. The hoots and the hollers from the paying customers sweetening the night.
Ah, perhaps this is a lazy post. Perhaps I’ve grown weary of haranguing the Hick. What interest is taken when any contrary voice is raised against the charming stumbling tongue of the sweetheart of Denver’s elite and, perhaps, those who don’t know any better?
But, then there are the critters. Who speaks for them? Who, indeed, considers the fragile balance between nature and man within Denver’s parks…when the subwoofer booms, when the steel guitar twangs, when the revelers invade?
Yes, I know where the Night Heron sings. Would that others discover the unassuming, quiet existence of those creatures who call our parks home. But, for how long?
Ah, there’s the rub.