A Bemused Sunday Scribbling

This was the perfect Sunday to "get out and about". I had stopped by the market after Mass, and picked up the basics for supper, and came home to find Jeff at the front door, eager to go on a our picnic (believe me, he made my morning!)

We packed up some things we had at home, and stopped at Federicos for a few good deli items, then drove over to the local park - to find the picnic area enclosed by a high chain link fence decorated with a nasty looking "No Trespassing" sign. I would have scaled the fence ten years ago - but today was too nice for one of my anarchy moments, so we settled on taking a drive to Seven Creeks (
Seven Creeks Roadside Spring Water, you can get all the details about this wonderful place by clicking on that link!)

We drove down the narrow roads, and found a perfect little area. Our ears were greeted by ringing silence (you know, that woodsy, "there are no humans here, unless you count the ax murderer crouched in the undergrowth" sort of sound), but soon we could pick out the merry laughter of a creek. We pitched our blanket, and the cicadas and crickets began to serenade us. There wasn't much in the way of bird song, but the slight breeze caused the canopy of leaves over our heads to dance their own chorus, and truly it was a peaceful setting. I had just commented to Jeff that we would have had to drive nearly three hours to find such a spot in Colorado, and that we would have found it already inhabited by a bunch of weekend Extreme Sports warriors (with their iPods, expensive outdoor gear, camel-backs, and Pop Culture wardrobes (take your pick: EMS, Mountain Chalet, L.L. Bean, Rei, etc - because you just can not enjoy the great outdoors in Colorado unless you are wearing the latest and greatest fashion trends!! Have I ever mentioned how much I despise the "I'm So Cool Colorado" mentality? Stay tuned - I usually voice that opinion at least one a quarter.) Now, where was I?

Oh, yes...

I had just commented to Jeff that we would have to drive nearly three hours to find such a spot in Colorado, but Seven Creeks was totally uninhabited and thus the perfect place to enjoy a quiet Sunday afternoon, when lo and behold! An old car pulls up with a couple and their very young daughter. We cringed a bit, as we really were wanting to escape human beings today, but they soon settled on the other side of the grassy berm, out of sight from us, and once again we were left to solitude. That is, until the fancy SUV pulled up and spewed forth a group of gaggling adults, who seemed hell bent on capturing photographs of the area while discussing where they had found a great shopping deal on shirts ("I picked two pink ones, and a white one, and then some pants,... yuck is that water brown... but I don't have shoes to match, so I went next door and they had shoes, and so I bought them, but they were buy one and get one free, so I bought two. Well, the second pair was free, so it's not like I actually bought them, bought them, you know? So we went over... hey, is that a bird or something?... so we went over to JC Penny and I found the cutest... oh, hey, a stream... cutest outfit for Barb, so I called her and told her to meet me... hey, look at that old bridge... to meet me there because there was only one her size..." Phish! these people reminded me of a certain AOL Chatroom!) Needless to say, after ten minutes they soon reasoned that "there isn't anything to see here", and left - once again, we found ourselves basking in Nature. They did bring their expensive digital cameras, and did actually point the camera lens at "stuff", but who has time to really appreciate "stuff" when it's much more entertaining to talk?

It is a very sad modern trend - as if the whole world is consumed by rampant ADHD. If you put two people in a natural setting, with complete solitude, they soon grown bored and feel the urge to move on. I am often reminded of the chorus portion of the Soft Cell tune Entertain Me:

"Entertain me
I'm as blank as can be
And I've done it before
And I've seen it before
And I think that I like it
But no I don't like it
It just goes on over and over
And over and over and over again!"

Yes, people want to (need to be!) entertained. Nature has little to offer, unless you take the time to center yourself, becoming almost Tao (One with it!) If you simply get out of your car and glance at it, it is nothing but a field of green dotted with shades of brown and blue. It's a "bunch of trees" or "some grass", with "rocks and bugs". It is just a backdrop, and you are waiting for the curtain to rise. Alas! Poor, misguided modern people! The backdrop is really the main show, and all that dwells within it are the star players!

These are the things I pondered, as I sat on our blanket and ran my fingers through Jeff's hair or rubbed his shoulder. He was at peace, my lap a pillow, so he could enjoy the dance of the tree branches over our heads. (On that note, he has an absolutely cute "military haircut", and one of my favorite pastimes is "petting him", enjoying the tactile pleasure of feeling those bristly short strands tickle the tips of my fingers.) The men of my generation (those in their mid-30's) seem to lack the ability to allow the mind to wax philosophical. Sure, they can quote philosophers, and they might have a unique thought or two, but their mind is also sharing time with music or video games. My Jeff, my wonderful and witty husband, is older than I am, and comes from a time when childhood entertainment meant reading a book or playing in a creek (although he did often beat the hell out of his younger brother, for kicks.) Jeff is the sort of person with whom I can spend a good several hours debating evolution what-ifs, or dialoging about astronomy, oceanography, or other such things. We can discuss theology or politics without the conversation turning ugly. But, most of all, we can sit in a field in the middle of the woods, and not have to say a word to each other, and yet we both know each other's thoughts. We both can appreciate the entertainment (always subtle, never ceasing, ever magnificent) of Nature itself.

So, in our brief time at Seven Creeks today, we discovered yet another little "perfect world", a treasure hidden in plain sight of those who do not have the mental mastery to settle and become One with their surroundings. The pictures in today's entry are all from our picnic sight at Seven Creeks. I wish that I could transport all of you there, so that you could feel the beauty around you. Words can not impart the true experience. But, should you have come along today, you would have been treated to a wonderful Sunday afternoon. I urge you, however, to turn off your computers today. Find a bit of Nature around you and allow yourself to become lost in it. Nature does not have to be a wooded area. It can be found in your own backyard. It can be seen on your apartment window ledge, in the form of a small spider spinning her nightly home. Something as simple as a wooden bit of furniture, with it's marvelous rings and whorls, cool to the touch yet once a living thing, can spin you away from your mundane world. Allow your imagination to capture you and whisk you to a place of tranquility. Perhaps this will inspire you to expand what you "know", to understand that there comes a point where we should stop asking "who else could I still be", and pause (really pause!) to reflect that who we are, and what we are, is in fact the same perfection as is found in nature... sometimes rugged, but always a wonderful thing to discover and explore!

As a final thought, I will leave you with an "anonymous" poem I discovered in a $5 flea-market find this evening. The book, dating from 1891 (that is not a typo!) and entitled The Speakers' Complete Program, contains hundreds of "period" pieces. This lovely poem, The River of Life, is one of them:

Down from the heather-covered hills,
Fed by a thousand little rills,
Through sun and shadow, night and day,
The brooklet speeds upon its way.

Flashing through meadows in its pride,
Flowing through towns that full its tide,
Through sun and shade, towards the sea,
The river speeds unceasingly.

So too from days of babyhood,
When every minute has its mood,
Changeful as any April day,
Life's river speeds up its way.

Sparkling in all Youth's joyous pride,
Dulled by stern Sorrow's murky tide,
Through sun and shade, through joys and woes,
Unceasingly Life's river flows.

8 responded with...:

paris parfait said...

Lovely post about a lovely day and filled with insights about the importance of taking time to really see and appreciate what's around you. Wise words! Thanks for sharing that great poem, as well.

Rachel Grynberg said...

Looks like a beautiful place to be.

LoRi~fLoWer said...

Hi--sorry to comment on smethign that's not about this post. But I see you are using the same template as me. How in the world did you get your navbar back. I'd really appreciate any help and would mention your blog on mine (www.cycleofsong.blogspot.com). Thanks! Oh and I understand if you don't post this comment.

Roadchick said...

Oh, wow. Even just reading about it was restful.
Thank you so much!

TMTW said...

Hi Lori,

I don't mind publishing this... the nav bar problem is my biggest and more frustrating issue with the templates. If you use the View Source option (right click on a web page and then select this option from the menu that comes up), you'll notice in the popup window that I added a line of code that reads: Navbar is nearly impossible to fix using this template.

I added this line of text, hidden under the graphics when the page is viewed, to fix situational problems caused when I added the navbar code by hand (and I had to search for that code for a week before I found it!) Isnaini's basic templates are awesome, but I'll be damned if they are nav bar friendly! You might notice that his HTML is also not standard English.

All in all, with some patience, you can warp things to your liking.

I will email you the navbar code shortly.



Annie Jeffries said...

Hi Toni,

I feel like it has been forever since I have visited and it has been, in fact, only a few days. I still marvel at the fact that there is so much in and around Steubenville that Quanah never discovered during his time there. I guess that shows the difference between being a resident and being a student who temporarily resides in a place.

My sister would be amused by your description and comments re: Colorado. She is back in Texas now after a couple of years in CO and believe me there is no love lost between her and Colorado, especially Fort Collins.

LoRi~fLoWer said...

Thanks! I found the line of code in his template that hides the navbar, but you can only see it if you view source (like you said) you can't see it from the template. I just experiemented with deleting thing that I could see on the template that were near what I couldn't see (if that makes any sense).

Great post, btw. :O)

Kyle Lindsey said...

Splendid photography. School has once again started for me, so my summer drag will finally cease until next year.