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.