Dusk ... text
December 12, 2006

Since I was tiny, nothing has calmed me more quickly or better than dusk in the woods, particularly if there's a creek, river or lake nearby as well.

So, when it was 65 degrees on the last day of November, I immediately headed out to Potato Creek State Park.

Actually, when I left for lunch that day, I was a bit out of sorts. Well, more than a bit. And as I walked out into the gloriously beautiful weather on my way to get some fast lunch, I thought ... I wonder ... I wonder if Potato Creek is too far to drive.

The short answer is that it really is. It's about 20 minutes from work, maybe 15 with the way I tend to drive and if the lights are with me. So that was 10-15 minutes to get to the fast food place ... at least 30 minutes driving time round trip ... an optimistic 15 minutes to spend in the park. Hmmm.

I left the fast food joint (Taco Hell ... hey, there's no freaking decent fast Mexican food up here in the land of ice, snow and freaking hoosiers - just for you, Mike, just for you, you big cheesehead). And I'm bemoaning the fact that I don't have ...

I passed the turn back in to work.

Apparently my impulses were simply going to take over for lunch today. My first thought was, well, I don't have to drive all the way out to the park. I could just drive out to the country area where we lived a few years ago. Lots of trees and nature and such. That'll do.

Drove past there, too.

Drove all the way out to Potato Creek, forgetting that it would be a longish drive to a parking lot where I could eat (too wet outside to sit on any of the picnic tables), and then head into the woods.

Look at the clock, decide I have 15 minutes to walk. (This was a VERY optimistic estimate.) I head out into the trails. I have no watch, left the cell phone in the office ... since this was a very unplanned excursion. It's kind of misty out, the trails are full of slippery fallen leaves and it doesn't take more than five steps before I can feel all the tension beginning to leach out of my muscles. I have forgotten, though, that this segment of trails is very short and does not really go to the area of Worster Lake that I most enjoy. That's okay. A few minutes here have already restored a feeling of peace and contentment that I've been lacking for weeks.

All too soon, I decide that I cannot push the time limit any further and I turn around, head back to the car. EEK! I way overstayed. I have five minutes to get back to work.

On the way back, I can't shake that feeling of being drawn into the nature around me. The rest of my day is surreal with the fluorescent lights, flickering computer screens and the constant sound of keyboards chattering away.

I stop at the house after work only long enough to pick up my camera and a fresh pop. I get back to the park by 4 or so, begin with the short trail because I had noticed several things that I wanted to take pictures of. Then, I head up to the real trails.

I've got my cell phone with me this time ... more so I can keep track of time than anything else. Reception isn't great, and frankly, I don't want to talk to anyone anyway. I want to be here, in this moment, in this place.

Squirrels, chipmunks, a hawk. Ducks, geese. A blue heron (or a crane, I'm never quite sure which).

The heron lets me get unbelievably close and thanks to the goodness of a 1 GB card, I snap shot after shot after shot, hoping that some will turn out in the dim light. Apparently the next time I go trekking in the overcast and dusk, I really need to bring a tripod as a walking cane, though.

I walk a little further on, to the place you see in the post below. It's dusk and I am looking out over the water at the far shore. The mist hangs in the trees, blurring everything with a wistful fog of potential and regret both. The trees that once stood on dry land and now are only poles complicating navigation on the lake. Providing bits of interest ... bits of rest, a place to steady yourself for a moment before moving on.

Times like this I feel like I could hop in a rowboat or a canoe and simply be on the lake forever, dreaming of the limitless possibilities and potentials. Rocked by the gentle winds on the lake, creating ripples of waves ... drifting with the currents.

Of course the reality of that is a lot more bleak. Umm, food? drinking water? bathroom facilities????

But staring out across the lake, listening to the birds, the squirrels and the water. Transporting myself to the middle of the lake for just a time, staring wistfully at the mystery of the misty shrouded far shore ...

I have to shake it off ... get back to the daily grind. But, even though it's in the 40s and raining outside now ... I still can get lost in that peace and potential just staring at the photo and remembering.

Posted by Red Monkey at December 12, 2006 10:23 AM | Storytelling: She was, of course, supposed to be sleeping. | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


jodi said:

Sometimes we just need that one moment. Enough to carry us, soothe us? Just be there for us...

It does go a long way doesnt it?

December 12, 2006 11:36 AM


MsDemmie said:

Hopefully that moment will re-charge you until the next time.

December 12, 2006 4:49 PM


mike said:

Sometimes a lil excursion like this is all a person needs to recharge the old batteries.

December 13, 2006 11:41 PM
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