There was a smell in the air as I walked along Michigan Ave. from Frandor westward. I wish it had been spring flowers. And despite being a sweet smell, it wasn’t all together pleasant. Much like stubborn spring growth bursting through lackluster surroundings, multiple businesses have erupted on this stretch of road. They all use different names and styles but their product is the same; medical marijuana. It was in front of these stores that the subtle, sweet aroma clung to the air. This eastern edge of Michigan Ave. seems to hold many possible solutions for those seeking healing and comfort. For some the relief is a herb, to others it might be the comfort of food and beverage. This 1.3 mile stretch of road has multiple locations to consume a trouble or two away. Some favorites are The Soup Spoon Café, Gone Wired Café, The Green Door, Emil’s and even El Oasis’ famous taco truck. For many, a good meal or drink goes a long way to healing the soul. For some the healing of the soul comes from a refuge in faith. Church of the Resurrection regally shadows over a large stretch of street. With a church, a school and teen center its ability to care and comfort are obvious. Not a block from Resurrection is another beacon of hope, The Ronald McDonald House of Mid Michigan. Built in 2000 and serving over 1500 families, The Ronald McDonald House with its bright colored play equipment reminds all who pass by that Lansing is great at giving and taking care of families. Finally the Goliath of care would have to be Sparrow Hospital. In the last few years it has expanded to become the region’s largest health system. There is no denying how many people have been helped with their pain and suffering with Sparrow’s presence in Lansing.
Sometimes, though, it is simple nostalgia that warms the heart, erodes any pain and puts a smile on your face. It was around the back side of Sparrow walking down Jerome St. that I found mine. I hadn’t been to Eastern High School much since I graduated from there many years ago. And I hadn’t seen it since the old Pattengill part of it had been removed. Despite losing an appendage the recovery surgery had gone quite well. If a stranger looked over the new site there would be no reason to ever believe another school had sat there. Yet, places from my past were still present. The courtyard, where my now husband and I courted and later broke up, only to meet again in college, was still there. There was also the band door. It led directly to the third floor band room. It was exclusively ours to enter and exit, for sectionals, practice, games and parades. It was the door to my home for four years. To the east of the parking lot was the band practice field. It now is home to a large Sparrow building and parking area; no sign that I marched on it multiple hours a week. As I walked away from my reverie back toward my car I noticed someone outside this back side of Sparrow. As I walked closer I yelled her name; “Setiva”! It was her. She was one of my best friends growing up in the north side of Lansing. Since she was part of the flags in high school she also marched with me on the field that no longer existed. We hugged and laughed and talked about marching that field. It was really nice to see her. Sometimes walking through Lansing is like walking through time. Sometimes, that is a healing not like anything you can get anywhere else.
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