By Amy McCollom
It was a busy week. I had an appointment every day except for one. Throw in a couple days of physical work, babysitting the small grandchildren, and grocery shopping in a giant big-box store and my mind and body were pretty much ready for a break. Not to mention my aching and weary mind, after facing the onslaught of Facebook stories, opinions, and comments that waged war against the hearts, hopes, and opinions of man and beast. I felt beat down and tenderized like a pounded $2 steak.
I am one of those people who need time in nature to recharge and regroup and get myself back together. Some folks like to lose themselves in music or the company of friends or in activities; I find it refreshing to be alone with my thoughts and the voice in my head.
There is a place where only I can sit down and have God help me untangle the strings of my crazy, mixed-up life. I know I am not the only one who does this. Us quiet types, we feel things, think things, hear things much more than regular types of people. We are the empathetic ones who put other’s shoes on our feet and walk in them. We are the ones who really do know what people are going through. And it can be physically and mentally exhausting. But it is who we are.
One of my favorite places to go is a little hidden gem called Wimple Park, in Tuscola. You kind of have to know it’s there to find it. Wimple Park is located at the end of Hillcrest Subdivision, down a rock-covered road that leads to a 27 acre secluded grassy picnic area with a large stocked pond. On a pretty, sunny day, it is just beautiful! I counted over a dozen park benches sitting around the edges of the pond. There is also a pavilion with picnic tables, which our family frequents after church on Sundays. They usually have bathrooms open, but with this COVID-19 going on, they have been locked. There are, however, a lot of bushes.
I went there recently with two of my daughters and two of my grandchildren. We just needed to get out of the house. Everybody was getting on each other’s nerves. It was that kind of a day. Wimple Park was the first place I thought of when my daughter asked about a peaceful place to go.
If it would have been possible, I would have sat and just watched the water the whole time I was there. It was very relaxing. But I had my two grandchildren with me and they had the energy of spring fawns. I did find out that I can still run if I tried, but I am not as fast as a 2 or 4 year-old. Thank goodness I wore my running shoes.
It was a bit windy, but perfect weather. I was so delighted by the romantic aroma of sweet clover in bloom, and it wafted on the breeze like the light rushing gauze of angel gowns as they brushed past me. I swear it’s the perfume of Heaven. The field of grass there, as far as you could see, was decorated with those tiny purple and white fragrant blossoms. Like Mother Nature’s wedding dress.
The big pond was still like a mirror with the exception of an occasional ripple of a small bug landing on the surface and breaking the tension of the water. We watched as rings travelled out from the disruption, then faded to stillness again. I thought about how life is that way too. One thing will bring disruption, but if left alone, soon the calm will settle and all will grow still and sublime. But then something underneath the water would leap out of it’s comfort zone, stirring the water and making larger rings that carried to the shore and back to the center of the pond. Those waves took longer to settle down than the smaller waves from outside influences. How telling. We cause bigger disruptions in our environment ourselves than outsiders do. Perhaps we should not stir up what is calm, peaceful, and working.
I am convinced that more people need to listen and not speak. They need to watch and see, and not just look. They need to consider the wild to better understand the civilized. Everything on this earth was meant as an example for how we are to live. If only we are to pay attention to the many signs and wonders that are all around us; what a wonderful world this would be.
If you, too, are tired of all of the fighting, all of the worries, all of the discord and discontent; I encourage you to find a little piece of nature that you can indulge in for a few minutes. Smell the clover, feel the grass, watch the water move, feed the little fish bits of bread, listen for the birds, look at the sky while lying on your back, and wait for God to speak just to you. This isn’t such a bad place. There are a lot of things all around us that are absolutely perfect.