Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Chapungu Sculpture Park -- Centerra

It was a VERY hot afternoon late in August and John and I were out on one of our local "safaris". I believe I told you that we have decided to spend our evenings taking little local trips, discovering new places and things where we live. On this particular evening we journeyed south in Larimer County, past "The Ranch" (our county fairgrounds) and turned off of County Road 5 into the Promenade Shops at Centerra. This shopping complex/community was at one time a large farm and has been turned into a very popular shopping center. When we first moved to Loveland, this corner at Interstate 25 and Highway 34 was nothing but pasture and prairie with a few Cottonwood trees to break the monotony.

Today it is a bustling, and very popular commercial center. The developers have made a huge impact on the area. They have paid for a nice new road called Centerra Boulevard that means County Road 5 is continuous from Fort Collins to Highway 34. It is one of my favorite roads because it allows me to drive north and south without ever getting on the Interstate. It was when we turned off of Centerra Boulevard that we discovered a small oasis that looked especially inviting on a hot summer afternoon.

Tucked away at the back of the Promenade Shops is a sculpture park called Chapungu. Chapungu is the name of the Bateleur eagle revered by the Shona people of Zimbabwe. Here among the old, majestic cottonwood trees is found this collection of Zimbabwe art. Perhaps it is a bit out of character for the foothills of the Rockies, but it is a special sight to behold and it creates an aura of its own. A very peaceful and spiritual aura. Parked magnificently among the huge trees are the sculptures. There is a cool walking path and a big tent awning with a concrete floor to hold concerts and art programs. As I walked thru this wonderland, I thought of how often ancestors may have passed by this grove of Cottonwoods. Were they as hot and thirsty as I was that afternoon? Did they look at the scene as a wonderland as I did? I felt a feeling of gratitude that I live in this particular time and in this particular place. There is such beauty around us -- it is there for the finding. Needless to say, we have not missed TV this summer, and have enjoyed our little trips and finding places that were there all the time.

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