The scene is shrouded in morning mist, which gives a special clarity to the foliage surrounding the area. Trees, bushes, and flowers are all covered with the morning dew. The mist creates an aura of mystery and enchantment. Such simple and natural happenings on Presque Isle encompass my sense of the pervasiveness of nature. Out of the mist saunters a small doe. She stops looks over at me and as quick as a baby breath and quiet as a whisper, she glides off into the marsh. What a perfect morning. Breathtaking!
All of us know people who are very much at home with nature. I am incredibly fortunate to have many friends on Presque Isle that fit into this category. They seem to understand and accept the rhythms, sounds, and smells of the natural world. As soon as they set foot outdoors, they have the gift of being able to shed concerns and problems of the work-day world and family. When they arrive on the park, nature becomes the center of their lives. Maybe it is just for the time they are on the park, possibly longer.
For most people, their relationship with nature is based upon the desire to exert control and to bend the natural world. They want to weed the garden, cut the grass, trim the trees or maybe dam the creek. That is what I love about Presque Isle. Weeding, cutting, trimming and damming are not allowed and would never enter my thought process anyway. For me discovering a new wildflower is much more important than weeding or trimming.
The tranquil mind that Presque Isle can bring is not a little gift, but a huge one. When walking or just relaxing in the woods and fields of Presque Isle, You get can away from today’s fast-moving world. In town or in my own back yard many times the fetching sounds of the natural world are lost in the roar of traffic or buried by someone’s loud lawn mower. When it’s possible, disappearing into the park’s woods or onto its trails allows us to experience with our ears the delightful sounds of nature.
Water has a vast repertoire of sounds and tones. Rain drops on a picnic shelter or dripping through the tree cover each has a special sound. On windless days, Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay lie smooth and serene. Small wavelets lap the shore, there but barely audible. When the wind picks up, the waves gain in height and fury, and the sounds they make become a repeated over and over. The rhythms of nature are a powerful part of any visit to Presque Isle.
Recently, when talking with an acquaintance who is on the park almost every day, he had a fairly simple question that I couldn’t answer. He asked, “Gene, why do people run from the rain?” I really had to think about that for a minute. I guess it’s only human nature. People simply do not want to get wet. Why? Even so, think about that for a minute. You could easily pull out a plastic folding parka and continue your walk. When you do that, I think you may find that walking in the rain opens a whole new world. The fresh smells, the clearing of the air, the animal activity and the difference of perspective is exciting and wonderful. A walk in the teeming rain can be strangely satisfying. For me walking in the rain allows me to roll-back the clock to my childhood where I would get incredible joy by splashing in puddles and catching rain drops on my tongue. I guess my only answer is that as children, we all ran out into the rain to play and as adults we think that is just childish. Maybe, we should all think more like children and enjoy this life.
Another trick you should consider when you are on Presque Isle that will help you “Look at Nature” in a different way is to change your perspective. A shift of position opens you up for new natural adventures. Look up, look down, or maybe kneel in the woods and use a field lens or magnifying glass to look closely at a flower, a leaf or a bug. Moreover, as you already know, from my past blogs, you can just quietly sit in the woods and let nature come to you. Yes, it will take 15 or 20 minutes. However, it is almost always worth a try. Just sitting and listening to the deep silence will clear your mind. One thing I have found when relaxing in the woods is that time becomes meaningless, and I absorb the peace and quiet like a sponge.
At Presque Isle, we have a perfect nature workshop at our disposal. Why don’t you come on out and start “Looking at Nature?”
See you on the park!!
Categorised in: A walk on the Park
This post was written by admin