Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Something old is new again... go out and see your State Parks

When I was a child, my mom and her bestie brought us kids to Hueston Woods, State Park beach pretty regularly. In our part of Ohio, there are not beaches or even much suitable rivers to swim in but in the 70s and 80s Acton Lake was the place to be.  The drive through the woods seems to take forever. The speed limit in the park is 25 mph and I used to beg to take off my seat belt so I could get a better view into the woods. Hoping to get a glimpse of an animal. My impatience then as a child would boil over until that beautiful site of the water would come over the horizon. We would unpack the car, and set up our perfect spot and have a whole day of swimming, picnic eating, sand in not so comfortable places and inevitable sunburns even though mom covered us from head to toe. But none of that mattered because my brother, his best friend, his little sister and I had a fun day in the sun and didn't have a care in the world except what just touched our legs under the water and what caused the warm spots in the water-- pee? The mystery still remains.

Thirty years later I have found myself drawn to these woods constantly this summer. I have been hiking the woods and not swimming at the beach. I still drive the 25mph roads and I still remember my antsy feelings as a child. But now I love the slow pace, I love the quiet empty space. It is like coming home every time I pull into the Woods.

I have learned the trails and have started to meditate and walk those trails so often that when there was a storm the other day I was saddened and excited to see how the trail had changed. You see downed trees all the time hiking but how often do you get to see trees within hours of the carnage.

That day I was the treehugger. I paid my respects and thanked each down tree for their years of shade and life. I am reminded that none of us know when our last day is. Trees or human.