A Hidden Park

If you are mindlessly walking around the streets of Bellingham, Washington, you might run into Franklin park. The small, intimate park, though difficult to come across if simply traveling the main roads can be a relaxing and pleasant place to spend time. The residential homes surrounding the park, along with the continuous chirping of birds, provide a welcoming ambience. This park is mainly for people who live around the area due to the houses around the perimeter. As far as I can tell, this location is for people to spend leisure time outside. I have seen people simply hanging out and spending time with friends or pets. At almost any given minute you can find a family or group of friends enjoying the company of their companions. Whether there is a cloudy sky, a slight breeze or sunshine; whether the trees are leafless or displaying abundance, the park is a welcoming entity.

With happy little Bob Ross trees filling up the landscape, the park embodies serenity. There are always birds chirping, but they are rarely in sight. A worn out basketball hoop wearily takes a beating as the kids rain terror on it with their ball. Next to the hoop is a set of picnic tables caked in graffiti. Under a canopy these masterpieces can be admired by all but the sun. There is a large grass area just beyond the tables and the playground where you will undoubtedly find people playing Frisbee with friends or fetch with dogs. While sitting on a park bench, letting the wind collide with your body or the sun kiss your cheek, one can easily get lost in thought, which seems fitting because if you find yourself visiting this park, you may be lost in your travels.

Due to the inconspicuous location of Franklin Park, it may not receive the type of recognition it truly deserves. However, if it did receive the traffic of a larger scale park, it would risk losing its cozy, inviting ambience. Since the park is difficult to find, those who do find it might feel a sense of belonging that would be lost in a more visible park. In contrast, those who fail to find the park at all never get to experience the soothing atmosphere or the appealing scenery. The park is very small which happens to be both good and bad. Since the park is small, you feel the same sense of belonging as well as a more intimate relationship with your surroundings. On the other hand, due to the lack in size it is very easy to feel claustrophobic if too many people show up at once. It only takes one or two large groups to completely shatter any peace of mind and make you lose that sense of belonging. Every time I have been to this park I have noticed the people seem to not have a single care in the world. It seems the park is an effective place for stress relief, and people seem to have realized it because I have seen regulars every time I have been there.

Similar to Laurel Park, not far from the Western Washington University campus, Franklin park seems to have its fair share of loyal companions returning frequently. With relative size and atmosphere, Franklin and Laurel provide a sense of intimacy a larger park could not. The two parks share the commonality of discreet location and thus provide a sense of belonging to the park-goer. Similar size and layout is also shared between these parks. Much like its counterpart Franklin, Laurel has an ideal size for an intimate sense of belonging and tranquility. Almost a polar opposite to Franklin Park would be somewhere like Central Park. Unlike Franklin, at Central you expect a ton of people to be there and a lot to be going on. Although it is still possible to find a sense of belonging and relaxation at Central Park, I would imagine it is slightly more difficult. In terms of size, it seems you are more likely to get lost within Central Park than getting lost and finding yourself at Central Park.

Franklin Park is most likely not some place one would find themselves visiting on a daily basis unless, perhaps, they are one of the few residents of the homes neighboring. This is because it is not a fun place to get to unless you live close. There is also the possibility of having too much of a good thing. If one were to go to the park every day, they could find the park losing its positive effects it once had. Reducing visits to the park could add to the uniqueness of the experience, ultimately providing more distinctive and memorable times.

Overall this park can be a valuable place for those seeking tranquil place with a low population. If you are somebody who always has to be on the move, and the idea of relaxing repulses you, this park may be one of the worst places for you to visit. It may possibly leave you with dreadful experiences of boredom. However, Franklin Park is an excellent place to relax and reflect in your free time.

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