Monday Morning Sunrise: Their Eyes Were Watching God – Highland Hills Park

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It is a cool Monday morning after a weekend of rain and cold. Thankfully the weather permits an opportunity to start a new book at a new park!

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is a story about a woman’s journey for her identity. Janie, our protagonist, begins telling her story to a friend, Pheoby, as a group starts to gossip regarding her relationship with Tea Cake.

In the first half, Janie shares her relationships with her first two husbands, Logan Killicks and Joe Starks. Janie is reluctant to go through with her grandmother’s insistence to marry. Her hope for love is put aside as her grandmother insists on securing her safety before she is no longer alive. As Janie learns that, “marriage does not make love,” she struggles to endure her first marriage to Logan Killicks until Joe Starks starts to visit with her. A man who, “always wanted to be a big voice.” Joe is on a mission in life and inspires Janie to join him.

Hurston wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God in 1937, over 80 years ago. Reading a novel from another era offers several fascinating details. The reader experiences an authentic representation of the time’s vernacular and day to day rhythms of life. Hurston provides distinct voices to all her characters as we follow Janie’s journey.

Monday Morning Sunrise © Fort Worth Reader 2019

Monday Morning Sunrise © Fort Worth Reader 2019


Highland Hills Park was established in 1968 and has 28.66 acres. It is located south of I-20 and East of I-35 off of Campus Drive. The park is a quiet and peaceful place that includes a walking trail that circles the park. A basketball court, soccer field, baseball field, tennis courts, and playground provide several options for fun. Several benches provide a view overlooking the park off of the main trail. A couple of gazebos provide cover from the rain or sun depending on the time of year. Highland Hills recreation center is also next door to the park for additional indoor activities. On this cool Monday morning, Highland Hills park provides an excellent location for reading.

Monday Morning Sunrise © Fort Worth Reader 2019

Monday Morning Sunrise © Fort Worth Reader 2019


Love is the focus of Janie’s story as she grows up in the poor, rural South. Janie’s freedom to pursue love is in contrast to the life her Nanny had to endure as she grew up under the oppression of slavery. The optimism of youth and love fill Janie with anticipation to experience the world around her.

Oh to be a pear tree—any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world! She was sixteen. She had glossy leaves and bursting buds and she wanted to struggle with life but it seemed to elude her. Where were the singing bees for her? Nothing on the place nor in her grandma’s house answered her. She searched as much of the world as she could from the top of the front steps and then went on down to the front gate and leaned over to gaze up and down the road. Looking, waiting, breathing short with impatience. Waiting for the world to be made.

Clashes between different generations often occur due to different lived experiences. Older generations will guide younger generations based on their lived experience and endured struggles in the hope that the future generation will be able to avoid them. The older generation worked hard to get to where they are and desires stability. Younger generations want to explore and learn about the world through their own experiences. The younger generation sees the world around them and usually seeks change.

How do we teach younger generations so they avoid struggles from the past, but still allow them the independence to tackle the conflicts not yet resolved? This conundrum baffles each generation as the torch of responsibility is passed on from one era to another. There are timeless pearls of wisdom/universal truths that we hope to pass along from one generation to another. Let us hope we never forget them and let us hope we continue to pursue the wisdom and truth we need for the time we live in today.

Reading is a pathway for us to understand the world around us. Enjoy and Experience reading today Fort Worth!

Monday Morning Sunrise © Fort Worth Reader 2019

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