I spent a lot of my childhood in the woods and in the creek. I grew up in Avon Lake and we had the best woods just down the street from us. I would spend hours there, picking wild concord grapes, walking in the creek looking for crayfish, playing with my friends. I was also a tree climber. Ask my parents about the time they had to call the fire department to get me down from a tree. I think I was 3 or 4. I just loved being in trees. It was a magical time that I never realized was magical. It was also too fleeting.
Alas, I grew up and the woods became a nostalgic memory for me. I never realized how much my soul craved the woods. We bought a house in a city that hardly has any trees. This started to bother me more and more over the years, although it was like a vague wiggle in the back of my head. Life fast forwards, I had children, and the wiggle got bigger. It was not until I stopped my hectic life to take a lazy afternoon and go walking in the creek with my mom, nephews and daughter that my soul cried out, THIS IS IT! This is what I have been missing. The stillness of nature. The whispering of the leaves. The sun dappled water as it glistened and flowed. My soul cried in relief as I soaked up Mother Nature and the stillness. The kids splashed in front of us, squealing with delight at each find as if it were gold treasure. Each shallow of pool that held little fish were meant to be stopped at and inspected and awed over. My mom and I enjoyed a slower pace and sometimes there were no words. Just the majestic beauty of Mother Nature. We spent and entire afternoon there and I cannot tell you how relaxed and stress free I was. I did not think about dishes that needed to be done or budgets that needed to be balanced or how was I going to go to school and work at the same time. Nothing. I enjoyed and reveled in the peace. Now do not get me wrong. I have been in the park before with the kids. Bike-riding and nature walks. But somehow it is not the same as when you are creek walking.
I was reflecting over my day when I started to wonder. How many of us have been so caught up in our day to day lives that we miss being with nature? We have such an amazing gift with the Metroparks being so close but how often do we take advantage of it. In a world of video games, video games and more video games, and TV, how often do we take the time to go back to nature? I know I will be taking time out to go back to that creek and fill my soul up as often as I can.