It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Some things take time

How old is this tree?
We live in a fast paced world, or so we think.  We want everything done right now, johnny-on-the-spot.  We want our food handed to us immediately when we are at the fast food pick up window.  If our computer doesn't react in two seconds we are complaining about the computer running slow.  And those traffic lights that take forever (1 minute in reality) to change.  Fast, fast, fast!

But I've been surprised in some of my reading to realize that in the course of history everything did not happen right away nor did it always happen just like it was planned.  Take for instance the founding of San Antonio.  Of course, the native Indians had been here a while.  Archeological evidence points to the first inhabitants going back to the Paleo-Indian period (15,000 to 7,000 B.C.).  The Europeans first came through here in 1691 on their way to missions in East Texas and agreed that this would be the ideal place to start a settlement that would serve as a way station for travelers to East Texas. They would return in 1709 to scout the area and finally establish the first mission (known today as the Alamo) in 1718.  A total of 27 years! It would be 1731 before the last three missions were relocated to the area from East Texas, a total of 40 years!

Another slow moving process was the establishment of a water system in San Antonio.  Citizens knew they needed a better sanitation system after a cholera outbreak in 1866, but it wasn't until 1877 that the first water system was put in place.  In 1925 the city would issue bonds to obtain ownership of the water system, a total of 49 years.

An even slower moving story is that of the San Antonio River.  The story is too lengthy to go into much detail here. Developing a plan to preserve and define the course of the river through downtown San Antonio was a slow, gradual process.  Citizens had always treasured the river and would be influential in preventing well-meaning business men from filling it in or cutting down all the trees (as recommended by one professional engineer).  Flooding was a major problem, too.  From the late 1800's on there would be committees, commissions, and political moves taking different directions to preserve and enhance the river.  The mid-1930's saw progress, but it wouldn't really be until the development of Hemisfair '68 that the River Walk would come to life.  This story continues even today as the river is still being developed for the enjoyment of citizens in a manner that preserves and protects the river and its banks.  Someone didn't just draw up the plan and say okay let's get going; it took time.  Things moved slowly.

So, how old is the tree in this picture?  I don't have a clue, but I do know that it did not grow quickly to this size.  I have two of the same oak trees in my back yard.  They are probably 40-45 years old and while they are large trees they do not compare with this one. Some things take time!

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