Imagine the city as a forest in a fairy tale. A complex, diverse place with no wide landscape, just roads threaded between buildings connecting people and communities. It is a home for stories to be told and heard, a place to explore, perhaps to get lost, and to find treasure.
Sara Maitland (Christian, feminist, author) writes about forests as places that aren’t just about trees and says that fairy stories aren’t just for children. In her retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, the story of a funny little man who danced in the forest, the main character explains that although most people have forgotten how, it is not that hard to spin straw into gold. It just takes imagination and hard work, and ‘of course a loving heart helps’.
So, how hard is it to find treasure in Leeds? When we look at the city of Leeds, with love and imagination, where do we find treasure?
In this last week, Leeds treasure that has been pointed out to me includes:
A strong, hopeful learning community at Bankside Primary, Harehills
Having conversations about what really matters at Mary and Martha Meet (LCI group for parents and pre-school children)
Spacious Places, a recovery programme for people with addiction issues, with its vision of working towards enjoying a better life
Spending time in the natural world and reading the ‘second book of God’ – in the open spaces in our city like the Meanwood Valley Urban Farm.
At LCI, we would like to hear more about treasure in Leeds. Let us, and others, know where you find treasure in the spaces and places of Leeds, in its diversity and communities, and in the hard work to make Leeds better for all.