I love going to the feed store – mostly because I rarely ever end up there without distracting myself first. Today was no different. I took a long, winding, and nonsensical route to my destination trying to find prime foliage for a nice snap or two. Indeed I got a good look at the mountains but the foliage was pretty dismal. After waiting weeks for it’s late arrival we immediately got rain afterwards… for several days. Now the trees are mostly bare. SIGH. Still, I did manage to find a trail…
I’m struggling to figure where it was exactly but I believe I just found the tail end of the Common Trail off of Grove street. There was a turn off right next to the bridge so I decided to check it out. As usual it was where I needed to be, a serendipitous and joyful experience. It wound close to the river and provided a wonderful flat walk for most of the way.
Rivers have become a source of great spiritual connection for me. Whenever I am down, hesitant, or anxious I seem to serendipitously find a river to play in. There’s nothing like a good river. Today I found a little bench halfway up the path that denoted a sweet little spot to while away the hours. There were some rocks jutting out clear to the middle and I forsook the bench to crawl out upon them. Here I sat with the gurgling of the water blocking out all other noise, the smell of the crisp autumn air mixing with that of the fresh cold water, allowing the sun to kiss my cheek as the water flowed beneath my feet. Nothing else mattered anymore, I was instantly overtaken by a sense of absolute zen.
It has become a custom of mine to splash in the water of any river I come by, reciting the closest thing to a prayer I will ever utter as I bathe my arms and hands in the brisk churning waters. “May you take away all negativity in my life and wash it down stream. May only positivity flow towards me.” Perhaps this is why rivers have gained such spiritual meaning for me. Rivers don’t stop for anything. Whenever they come across an obstacle they still a find a way, making a space for themselves even when there isn’t one. It’s a lesson I try to keep close to my heart as I overcome obstacles in my own life.
I watched the river for probably an hour. No other people came by but a squirrel and a chipmunk did visit for a while and a frog tried to commit suicide darting under my feet in the same second I was stepping down. How he escaped that I don’t know but I nearly took a header into the river trying to avoid crushing the poor little beast!
After I had finished lollygagging I was once again off into the forest, overjoyed with each bend of the river as I took another snap… Sadly I had my camera on the “night” setting and it was a very bright day so much of what I took came out very washed out but it didn’t take away from the beautiful experience I had here. As I walked farther into the forest I started to come across the ruins of something… a bridge? A home? I couldn’t tell but it was jutting out over the embankment, a small upward hike. Before I knew it I was behind the Noone Falls building. Apparently there’s a restaurant there, probably has been forever, but I had no idea. The smell of their food drifted to my nose and immediately made my stomach gurgle and churn! It did smell good! But it was across the river… alas! The trail went on for a little ways and ended in someone’s back yard with a straight shot to another street. I returned to my car. It was a pretty short trail, maybe half a mile, a mile at the very most, but I don’t think it was that far. It was the perfect amount of activity for me as my body has been punishing me hard for everything I do lately. Anything more and I would suffer a pretty bad crash, with this little jaunt I got only the positive – the experience, the joy, the exploration, the thrill of something new, without any of my usual negative consequences. I returned to the car relaxed, joyful, open, and returned home far happier than when I left.