Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Peace out from the Park

August 26, 2009 · No Comments

St. James’ Park is incredibly beautiful. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as absolutely every park if not every tourist attraction in London could be classified in this way. Entering right across from the Cabinet Warrooms, I instantly spotted my next home. The most picturesque cottage sits on the edge of the park- one for which I instantly began planning wallpaper schemes. That’s the feeling you get at St. James’ Park though; that is, a feeling of being at home (or at least wanting it to be your home). Past the cottage, a garden of perfection leads you towards a pond that is as lovely as everything else surrounding it. Parks like these always make me grateful of those that decide to give the people of a busy city a place to go to escape the hustle, bustle, and overpriced world that engulfs them everyday to a place of peace and tranquility. Truly, St. James’ Park accomplishes that in a spot on fashion.

St. James' Park

St. James' Park

Still, something doesn’t quite feel right in saying that all Londoners enjoy peace at St. James’ Park or in saying that the park succeeds in offering peace to everyone in the city. A quick glance around seems to show a wide range of people enjoying the tranquility. A more observant look though shows that tourists and businessmen and women are the only people in the park.

People enjoying the park

People enjoying the park

Of course this makes sense. The park is situated in between Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. No tourist is able to avoid going to these locations. In a similar regard, those places are in business because businessmen and women work in them. So, when they are hoping to take a break, what better place is there than a beautiful park? But where are the parks where the people protesting for more conscientious government involvement in Iraq can rest? Where are the parks for the black man and the man from South Asia who got in a fist-fight to sit and find peace? Where are the parks for those who are fully wrapped up in the energy of the city to enjoy some respite? Yes, I walked in shoes that were too small for my feet today and certainly enjoyed a break from the fast-paced striding through the sidewalks but I recognize that my need for the park pales in comparison to the aforementioned people. It just struck me that the park which has so much beauty to offer is only enjoyed by a select few- and a select few that might not be the most ‘deserving’ or the most ‘desiring’ at that. That being said, there is no guard at the gates denying anyone entrance (at least, not that I saw). It’s just some food for thought. While I snapped picture upon picture of this pretty flower and that pretty tree, others who certainly could use some time to stop and smell the roses were probably picking up their bullhorns to ask for a government official to bring peace to the world. Hopefully if and when that happens, it can be enjoyed by all.

Categories: Audrey

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