Monday, November 7, 2016

Resting At The Park

When life gets to tough, nature is usually one of my best escapes. Being around the trees and birds and water is one way that I feel like I'm still connected to this planet.  In these days, it seems like hatred of one another and screaming is all that matters.  I can no longer take the stuff that I see every day.

Nature is my escape.  The park is my refuge.  Yes, the ocean also does that but because of the recent hurricane, the beach is a little rough to get to at this moment I'm writing this.

Nature allows me to just be in the moment.  It does not expect me to mold into a form that it thinks I should be.  It does not demand that I do this task or that task.  It does not look at me with veiled attempt at how I am doing or how much I feel alone.  It just feels like I am home, accepted as I am with all my faults and shortcomings and fears and insecurities.

Being out at Blue Springs State Park is something that helps me stop and rest and refresh my weary torn life.  It gives me a moment of pause and reflection.  It helps me focus on where I am while ditching all the things I wish to forget.

So this blog post will be about showing you what I saw yesterday and hopefully through my pictures, it will be a moment of pause for you.

When I finished walking, I was sitting under this big oak tree.  It looked like it had been there forever.  It provided a great deal of shade while the light gentle breeze kept me cool.  The sun glistened off the water as you could see down the St. Johns River for a distance. 

Up above, I noticed that two big black birds were perched just watching and waiting or maybe they were taking a rest.  They didn't seem to mind me sitting there and in fact for a little while, I didn't even realize that they were there.

A big Blue Heron flew in and sat close to me on the edge of the water taking in the sun and the shade as it rested.

It watched me with interest as much as I watched it.

The Blue Heron was so beautiful and large and I felt like it just knew what I was there for, wishing it no harm, but we both accepted each other.

I assume there were no alligators close or it probably would not have been so calm.

A group of ladies decided they were going to sit at a picnic table close to me which was fine.

However, I was trying to enjoy the peacefulness and they decided it was time to talk rapidly and loudly.

I'm not sure why people do that in a park.

No, I'm not saying that you can't talk, but how can you enjoy nature and the park if you're talking more than listening.

I just think that sometimes if we stop the continuous chatter, we'll see and take in much that we normally miss.

The water level was high from the recent rains and hurricane.  Water from the St. John's River flows south to north, so it pushes this water all the way up to the park.

In addition to that, the springs puts out a lot of water each day.  In fact, the springs put out over 100 million gallons a day according to their information.

I had never seen the water level this high, but it sure changed the landscape.  Places that were normally visible, were submerged by water.  In fact, the there is a little beach landing that is normally visible by the canoes in this picture to the right and it was also submerged.

Along the way, little leaves floated down from the trees and spiders spun their webs.  Damage to the boardwalk path was evident from the recent hurricane.

People floated on rafts to the spring and you heard all kinds of different languages from international tourists.

The sun peaked through the clouds as they came and went. It made beautiful silhouettes in the sky. 

The wind was gentle but its presence was helpful to keep it from being too warm.  It rustled through the trees making a nice relaxing sound to help you drift away.

The playground was quiet for the most part as the kids were in school.  Normally when we have been there, it is bustling with kids who have limitless energy.

A homeless stray kitten had wandered into the restroom and was so frightened that it was frantic and kept its distance.  It scurried out the door the moment I went in.

It reminded me though of something fun and as if the playground equipment was waiting for someone to come and enjoy it.  Maybe the playground was also taking a rest.

I remember back to my childhood swinging on the swings and getting all scuffed up from falling out on the school yard pavement.  I would come home with bandages all over me.  As a kid, I loved the swings and always trying to see how high I could go.

Mostly though, I just enjoyed sitting there in the park listening and watching and taking it all in.

The boats on the river would go by and the birds would fly through the air.

Ripples of water changed with the currents and wakes of the boats.

The sun came and went under the clouds providing a different color scheme throughout the day.  Sometimes it was clear and other times it was covered in clouds.


The trees were magnificent standing there as if to say, we made it through the hurricane.  Some were not as fortunate, but the ones that were, stood tall and proud.  The green of these old oak trees stood against the backdrop of the bright blue sky and the green lawn.

I wish I could spend every day there because it is nice just resting at the park.  Resting is something we all need more of in our day.  Resting helps take us away from all the ugly rhetoric being spewed in the world.  It helps us see that there is more and it helps us get through those moments in life where we struggle for answers and calmness.

If you've not been out to the part lately, take a moment and go.  Go and just sit and take it all in.  If you're a creative person like myself, take a journal or a camera or something to draw with and just connect and listen.  Let nature be there to refresh you, guide you, and give calm to your soul.

Blue Springs State Park is a wonderful place to visit if you are in Central Florida.  During the winter months, it is common to see Manatees as they come up to the spring to stay warm.  Sometimes you see alligators.  There are always many fish swimming around and plenty of birds.  Often, you will see other critters.  Check out Blue Springs State Park because it is a wonderful place in nature to rest, relax and recharge!




Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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