Four Personalities

March 7, 2008
By Matt Hoey, Auburn, NY

I wake up every morning, walk downstairs, and look out my kitchen window into my backyard. I see my driveway which raps around my house like a cat’s tail on a chair. Then my eyes wander out into the actual yard and see my lacrosse goal which sits there with holes and dents looking like a bomb went off right next to it. I look further off into the distance and my eyes fall upon an infantry of trees and shrubs. The grass is glimmering with the morning dew and the sound of birds chirping can be heard all around. The pond looks so calm on the surface, but underneath it’s a frenzy of fish, turtles and other animals looking for a morning meal. The ducks glide on the water and then out of nowhere just disappear. They dive down like a soldier dodging a bullet into the murky liquid and join in the search for a bite to eat. It’s such a tranquil sight in the morning to look outside and see Hoopes Park. It is such a unique place and its identity changes with every season.
In the spring time if you were to walk through the park you would hear a splash as the water from the fountains collides with the stillness of the pond. There is a constant sound of quacking. Waddling ducks can be found all over the place while their ducklings follow like first graders follow their teachers down the hall. Through out the day barks and growls will be heard from dogs who are struggling to get out of the hold of their owners so they can go play with one another or chase the various animals that call Hoopes Park their home.
As the warm spring air blows in the wind, a scent of beauty will be carried to your nose. The array of flowers and plants bring a perfume like smell to park-goers nostrils. Along with the smell of flowers you might get a whiff of stale bread, and then you turn your head towards the pond. There you will see little quarterbacks throwing bread to the ducks who act as their receivers. The spring time brings new life and joy to the park.
If you look into the park during the summer it is constantly filled with activity. People are constantly walking around the oval shaped pathway that goes through the park. Smells of charcoal and barbecue are an everyday scent as people in the neighborhood begin to wheel their grills out of hibernation. The snap-pop opening sound of beer and soda cans travels from backyard to backyard and the talking and laughing of friends and family members can be heard from hundreds of feet away. Bikes whizzing by, scooters falling, and children’s voices combine into a melody that sings out summer is here.
Nights in the summer are busy for the park. It serves as a town concert hall as many local bands and musicians showcase their talent to the public. Families bring chairs and blankets to sit on and some even bring snacks to eat while they enjoy their free music. On some nights when the bands are finished with their performances movies will be shown. The movie can be heard through out the park along with laughter and conversation. The park also becomes somewhat of a sports arena during the summer. Children come with their baseball gloves and lacrosse sticks and others take part in night games of jail break and hide and seek.
When fall comes around there are many noticeable changes to the park. The first one to become evident is the trees. These tall and rigid structures become bowls of apples, oranges, and lemons and when the crisp fall breeze comes by the leaves tumble to the ground like parachutists. The pond becomes less active and as fall moves on it becomes emptier. The ducks and sea gulls leave to go on their family vacations and the fountains that can be heard during spring and summer are shut off. The colorful flowers take a leave of absence and the bees say good bye to the outside world. Along with changes to the park itself the people who visit it change as well. Instead of seeing people walking in shorts and t-shirts you see them bundled up in pants and sweatshirts. As the weather changes and the temperature begins to cool the park and park life begin to slow down at a tremendous rate.
The winter brings a sense of tranquility to the park. Unlike the other three seasons of the year, winter in the park is not very busy. Once the first snow falls and the limbs of the trees are cotton white, the park seems to fall asleep. All of the animals are absent and you rarely see people visiting the park. It looks like a forest that has gone untouched by humanity. The only sounds that come from the park are the whistling of the wind blowing and maybe a bark as a dog rummages through the snow. Other than that there is not much going on in the park until the pond freezes over. If you look over to the pond on a mid January day you might see children and parents ice skating on the outdoor ice rink. The crunching of blades digging into the ice can be heard and then a thump sometimes follows. When you look over to see what it was you find a parent helping their child up from the hard fall.
The winter months give the park a break from its busy existence during the other three season of the year. Once the ice melts and winter seems to be over the park begins to come back to life. The sounds, smells, and sights that one may enjoy exist once again and the park begins the whole cycle over again.

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