As an avid park goer I have a huge amount of respect for individuals who financially support the park system.
My daughter and I do our part in sharing information about the National Parks with friends and family, sharing images and details via social media and doing our best to create awareness anyway we can. We often purchase a “friend” or animal for my daughter at National park gift shops, we occasionally purchase patches to adhere to our back packs or we grab a snack here and there. We do not currently have the ability to donate thousands of dollars to the organizations that we support. Thank you Friends of the Mississippi River, donors, volunteers and everyone who makes FMR a success. You are making a difference and I thoroughly enjoyed partaking in your celebration last night.
When I have out of town friends or family visiting, one of the first places I take them is to the best spot to view the Mississippi River and the Stone Arch Bridge, at the Guthrie. A river which divides two Sister Cities, a visualization of how different the two worlds on either side of that continually changing body of water truly are.
Do you know that there are people in this town that have NEVER crossed that river? They pride themselves in the fact that they have never left Minneapolis or that they have never left Saint Paul. My daughter and I have been up and down the Mississippi River so many times that it would not take seconds, or minutes, or hours to spell out “M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I". It would take us years to spell out that beautiful word that means so much to so many, if we were to spell it out for as many times as we have crossed over it. So many times that we have to work to not take it’s body, full of life for granted.
A topic of the evening last night was love, ‘agape’, a word that is hardly a word, but an emotion, an energy and a feeling. There was quite a bit of that feeling last night that filled each crevice of the tattered brick walls inside the Aria Events Center. A feeling that spills out into the streets of Minneapolis and across that river into the hearts of Saint Paulians.
Here are some images of the various locations the Mississippi River runs through. We have been to 149 National Park units in the last 3 years. The Mississippi River runs through or is near a number of National Parks, besides the stretch of river in Minnesota and Wisconsin that has the designation of National River.
River themed art was intertwined throughout the celebration. There was a perfect balance between visual are and performance art that left the audience inspired and moved. Music is my expression of love, feeling and emotion. Music is my river, ebbing and flowing in whichever way feels right. It is no surprise to me that so many artists have been inspired by such a beautiful expression of nature. I often hear music in the trees as the leaves brush against each other. I often hear music in the sounds of the wild animals. I often hear music in the rush of the murky blue water. The Mississippi River is a symphony.
Thank you Friends of the Mississippi River for continuing to make sure that the river’s music is heard for years to come.
Lewis and Clark Statue next to Gateway Arch National Park, St. Louis, MO
All images captured by Susan Miranda.