Saturday, August 1, 2009

I Wish I Was Still Standing By the Stone Arch Bridge

Yesterday was our 10th wedding anniversary. Because ten years seems like a pretty big deal these days (not just for us, just in general), we decided that we'd have a more significant celebration this year. Besides going again to Lord Fletcher's on Lake Minnetonka for dinner, we spent the night in the same hotel (though not the same room) where we stayed the evening after our wedding. Since the pre-refinish-the-hardwood-floor disarray is increasing in our home, it was a welcome respite.

In the morning, we briefly contemplated ordering room service, but decided to indulge in the breakfast buffet. We then visited briefly the Grand Canyon of Malls, where we picked out Anniversary presents for one another.

By a wide margin, however, the favorite activity of the day was our visit to the heart of Minneapolis, and to the Mill City Museum. At the site of the Old Gold Medal Flour Building, the museum includes the ruins of the old mill, as well as lots of interactive and educational displays, a simulated flour explosion, and two separate shows, one about the Mill (shown in an old freight elevator), and one about Minneapolis. The Museum stands next to the new site of the Guthrie Theatre; both are along the Mississippi River, and close to the historic Stone Arch Bridge.

Minneapolis began and flourished as a Mill City, and the Mississippi River was the heart of the Mill. St. Anthony Falls provided the power for the mill, which ran day and night until 1965.

I felt it somehow, standing on the cobblestone streets, wandering through the displays at the Museum. There is something substantial, something life-giving, something vital here.

Perhaps it was the power of the river itself, the power of water -- the power of flowing water through a community. Perhaps it was the sense of building and growth -- the growth of the city, the creation of industries and products that fed people and created jobs. Perhaps it was not just the river but the stones, what was left of the old mill, the cobblestones of the streets, the stones on the old bridge spanning the river.

All I know is that I wish I was still there, where I stood this afternoon. I wish I was standing by the Stone Arch Bridge, just getting ready to walk across the river, feeling warm breezes, watching people walking and talking. All I know is that I wish I was still there tonight, where the stronge stone bridge holds and where the swift strong water flows underneath.

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked
or take the path that sinners tread;
or sit in the seat of scoffers....
They are like trees planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither. --Psalm 1.


Mompriest said...

Sounds like a wonderful place to be.

Lindy said...

Wow Diane.
That's beautiful and profound.

Congratulations on your anniversary. A significant achievement.

Jennifer said...

Youre writing is eloquent...and funny.
I spewed my coffee upon reading "the Grand Canyon of Malls".

Happy anniversary to you and J!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

It sounds as though you really imbibed something of the spirit of the place.

happy anniversary.

Barbara B. said...

Happy Anniversary! Sounds like a nice celebration.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Happy Day! I walked in that area when I was single, quite some time ago. Then after we were married, we lived in "Nord East" for a little while. But these days, I never get to those places. We get to the city and get busy driving to family events at various homes. Your post makes me realize how much I miss walking in the city. Walking in the country, when you live on a rather boring road, just isn't the same.

Paul said...

What a gracious tribute to place.

Many blessings on the years together that lie ahead!

Crimson Rambler said...

oh Diane, unexpected happy recollection of visiting that very site ... 30+ years ago ... and a very small #1 son plunking stones into the river under the loving gaze of mother and godmother. Thank you!