The cabin was built in 1855. A pre-Civil war log cabin. I imagine there were no individuals or children even like my own who graced the floors of this cabin back in 1855. I imagine too that we will always be our ancestors wildest dreams. To be able to touch such a log cabin. To feel it’s structure, walk on its foundation, run our hands through the dark grey logs that line the side of the cabin, all of it seemed surreal to me today on our historic journey through Drace Park.
It’s also officially the first day of summer in our household. My plans are simple. To visit parks throughout Saint Louis. We started the day at Drace Park. I was first attracted to this park for its signage: Respect the past; Honor the present; Protect the future. What past I wondered? The one were my ancestors weren’t free. The ones where our hands probably built these cabins in scorching heat. What present, I also wondered? Honoring the ones where we are still not free to think in ways that illuminates our uniqueness. A present were we still try to make sense of what our black doesn’t matter. Finally what future? What do we protect for the future? Log cabins? people? I imagine the future will have so many questions for the past, just as I still have many questions for present. Drace Park had a lot to offer to my kids and myself. We walked through the trails, traced our hands through the walls, took pictures and celebrated the fact that we are doing our own part to respect the past that matters to us, the present with so many lessons yet to learn and a future where uncertainties abound.
We are our ancestors wildest dreams. To see such apark with it’s historic log cabins all now juxtaposed next to a playground area for kids, is the right start to summer my kids and I needed. I intend to have many more summer days like this. My children of course are happy with the playground area, which we had all to ourselves this morning. Walking along the park’s trial was a treat. A dirt digging area, a welcome joy for my little ones who spent most of their time digging and digging I anticipate that summer will be long, and with the right questions guiding every park visit we make, I expect to learn how my present matters not just for my past but for my journey ahead with my future. Keep Drace Park and their log cabins in mind.