“Renewal” by Dan Callahan
It has been a long and challenging season. One recent report counted 28 separate ‘weather events’ since winter descended. I cannot imagine anything more exciting after all those than to get out of the house and breathe in some fresh air.
An opportunity for just that will soon come. We have decided on Sunday, April 27th for a Malvern Renewal afternoon.
Bisecting the bluff in the middle of the Moss Bradley neighborhood is a quiet pedestrian pathway named Malvern Lane. It originated in the early years of our history as a pathway between the established valley and the newly developing neighborhood above. Malvern Hall in the English countryside was the ancestral home of one the West Bluff’s earliest and most community minded families, the Griswolds. They built this brick street and it still retains much of the feeling of early Peoria. Now reserved for pedestrians, it is possible when strolling its winding route to imagine what drew our forebears here. Mature oaks, verdant hillsides, dappled sunlight and songbirds create an atmosphere of spring delight far from the crowded streets above and below the hill.
Let’s gather once again to celebrate it’s beauty and renew it’s role as our refuge.
Sunday, April 27th • 2 p.m.
Rain date: May 4 • 2 p.m.
Needed: willing hands, gloved and ready, rakes, some pruning equipment (like chain saws) and a couple of hours to join together to peel away some of winter’s accumulation of debris.
Last spring, over thirty of us worked magic on the area from the base of the bluff to Moss. If we gather enough of us, between Westminster, neighborhood folks, students and friends, we may even be able to continue our renewal up Institute Place. It would be a fitting extension of this seasonal renewal, as Institute was, in earlier times called Malvern.
There is something extraordinary about this axis that connects upper and lower, parish and populace, town and gown, urban and natural. If ever there was a metaphor for living together in harmony, Malvern in springtime is it.
We all had such a good time last year, it only seemed right to schedule ’round two.’