Intern blog: Finding a mindful escape at Lakeside Park

The definition of “mindfulness” is, “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.” As transparent as this is, so many of us struggle with this simple state of just being. From the buzz of our cellphones to the internal voice telling us to take on more, the idea of mindfulness gets clumped among the characteristics of laziness, and procrastination, leading us to believe it to be more of a dreamy-styled life that doesn’t exist among our endless ‘to-do’ lists.

Lakeside Park is located at 1401 Lake Ave.

Growing up in the Chicagoland area, I’ve always searched for small getaways of nature to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the life around me. Society can be so loud causing us to get tied up in its web of constantly trying to keep up. It’s a blessing and a curse having everything at the touch of our fingertips.

That pursuit of peace is how I found myself on this worn, wooden bench in the middle of Lakeside Park and Rose Garden in northeast Fort Wayne. The first word that popped into my head as I sat down was “fresh,” a breath of fresh air.

Benches at Lakeside Park offer opportunities for reflection.

From the white pillars that stood out among the purples and pinks in the flowers, to the greens, sprouting up ever so slightly into view, the buds and flowers line every path creating a symmetric aesthetic with a mixture of both man-made and natural beauty. The soft stream trickling into the fountain has a little girl mesmerized as she lays by her father, gazing into the stone lion's mouth as it continuously spits water in front of her.

Fountains add tranquility to Lakeside Park.

As I sat on this bench, I took on an observer’s role, catching a small glimpse into the strangers’ lives around me. The water filling the stone fountain is a bright misty blue, contrasting the deep, emerald blue pond a path away where five young boys gaze in curiously as they fish, following the line of their single red pole. They’re waiting for a ripple, or any sign of life underneath their hook, to indicate it’s time to reel in, while a parent overlooks them on his phone, taking a call.

Lakeside Park encompasses 23.8 acres of land.

The twisted tree branches cascade outwards creating vibrant, dancing shadows on the paved path as a mom rides by on her bicycle, warning her little boy behind her of an upcoming bump in the road. His red helmet is shadowing his face from the sun as he gazes up; his little fingers clenched over his handlebars with a look of determination in his eyes.  

With the sun beating down, ready to wind its way into the night, the breeze flows ever so slightly, leaving us with the perfect temperature on this summer evening. Located only blocks from the city, the rush of the cars is a quiet hum among the birdsong in this little paradise.

Lakeside Park is ideal for photo shoots.

There’s joy in the simplicity of moments like this, when we can step outside our daily life and watch the scenes of existence go on without us, if only for just a little while, and Lakeside Park and Rose Gardens was my perfect place to do so.

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