How A Shattered City Heals

Vaishali Paliwal
Mar 22 · 4 min read
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Our past has violation and injustice and present not devoid of cruelty either. But we remember. We stand by truth. As the orange blooms of an afternoon of spring sang in all their glory, and a banner of Black Lives Matter made the background, I thought to myself these are the small grounds which inhabit the long journey to healing. We start here.

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Let these messengers of spring be a reminder to us of the possibilities. Possibilities of beauty, of lives filled with bird songs and sounds of wind chimes, of unity and peace.

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As we continue the walk, we enter the space of a nature center maintained by the city. All the lemon, pomegranate, orange and avocado trees, seasonal vegetables and flowers, in their best health and utmost glory. A small library takes the central spot and every child gets to experience the lap of mother nature and have opportunities of learning.

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I think to myself this is how healing can come about, if we look after our earth, take care of our gardens, grow our own food, have community kitchens, community libraries, equal access to all our community members. If we have spaces of community gathering surrounded by bougainvillea and thoughtful art reminding us of sustainability and environmental justice. This place is my glimpse to all the possibilities of a holistic and stronger future.

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Art at Stoneview Nature Center

We continue on our trail to see the new bridge that has been constructed to connect two big parks of the city eventually leading to the beach making it a 13-mile trail called Park to Playa trail, increasing our biking and hiking distances, making us enjoy our natural spaces with better connectivity. Small bridge to a better future.

New La Cienega Pedestrian Bridge
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Post bridge, we were greeted by some unbelievable blooms of spring. This was the other side of Kenneth Park that I haven’t seen before. All the trees were majestic and people were picnicking under the trees, enjoying the sun again and just loving each other’s company without their devices.

Our commitment to protect mother nature and connecting with her in these outdoor getaways can bring back a certain balance our city has been struggling with for a while now.

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We reached the summit and had the 360 views of the entire city. This troubled city still full of possibilities, the surreal cloud design and a turtle encounter (more about that later), making it all a sign from above.

This hike was a wonderful reminder for me on the power of remembering, building, connecting and being on the road to recovery.

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V Paliwal

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