Our downtown square is a real treasure.
I love going when there aren’t many people around to soak up the good vibes of the classic architecture, beautifully designed and maintained gardens, and history of community connection. Our Fayetteville Square was originally designed as a US Post Office. In later incarnations, it has been an art space, coffee bar, bakery, and many restaurants. These commercial venues come and go, but the constant is the Fayetteville Farmers Market. I believe this is what has created the good vibes that I feel, as well as the beautiful gardens maintained by the city.
It’s rather surprising that I find so much joy given that it is simply one small square in the middle of town. There are roads and businesses on all four sides. Typically this would not be my idea of a soul space or somewhere to hang out. But what really matters is that we recognize what feeds our soul (whether a person, place, or activity) and then spend more time on it. So it doesn’t really matter why the square feels good to me, only that I recognize it, allow it, and spend more time nurturing my spirit. Like I did yesterday, walking around the square, enjoying, appreciating, and photographing the flowers and scenery.
When I first moved to Fayetteville, I was disappointed that it had roads all around the square. I had previously lived in Boulder CO with its famous Pearl Street Mall that allows foot traffic only, no cars or bikes. It has become a magnet, for locals and visitors, as the hub for food, art, shopping, street performers, and gathering. This comparison kept me from enjoying our square. Now I can simply appreciate it for what it is. And I do think our Fayetteville Square would make a great pedestrian-only area to lure more locals and visitors to the heart of our city. Many cities have created pedestrian-only sections that become vibrant centers of community where people and nature thrive.
Virtually every time I visit the Fayetteville Square I come away refreshed and renewed like I do when I go hiking in parks. I’m very grateful for this local gem that is my secret downtown delight and soul-nourishing space. Thank you Fayetteville!
Please remember to take time to nourish your soul this week.
Peace out, Brad