My drug of choice…

Gunpowder Falls is one of my favorite parks in Maryland and appropriately it is one of the places where I get the greatest respite from whatever is manifesting itself as a burden at the time.

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On Saturday I just wanted to get away… From the connectivity and be accompanied by the sound of my feet and the rushing of the river to the side of me.

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I like being in the midst of the park in the winter as I liken it to a sensuous experience of sorts. The leaves have fallen and the landscape is laid bare, Mother Nature is proverbially in the nude.

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Making my way across the rocks to the other side, requires some dexterity that I’ve honed over the years.

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This bridge was an interesting addition, I would typically get a running start and hurtle myself to the other side.

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After making my way to the other side the sound from the river overtakes all else. I knelt down to get a picture of this majestic grass standing tall against the background, refusing to acquiesce to the grip of winter.

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The Pot Rocks area of Gunpowder is probably the most empowering part. If you are nimble enough you can ford the rocks to make it to a group of mini-islands in the middle of the river.

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I often sit here, losing my connection with time and the burdens that drew me here.

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Sitting here… I realize that I breath more deeply than I do anywhere else and I wonder why. Is it that the water has a baptismal effect that purifies that what ails me or is it that this is the place that my burdens go to drown?

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A light sprinkles down on my hat less head as I sit unmoving, transfixed… All is well in the world.

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It doesn’t matter how many time I visit, I always see something different and I never feel the same.

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I make my way up to the overlook and the feeling that I was looking for hits me with a resounding thud; empowerment and clarity, and after receiving this, I pivot and make 1.5 mile walk back with an ever-present smile on my face.

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Grateful that this is my drug of choice.

As I continued on – A walk in Gunpowder Falls

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It began innocently enough… I’ve walked this path many times before, casting my burdens by the wayside as I walked.

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It was the calm before the storm…  And it was apparent that I was the only person along this stretch of the park, I walked without any sense of urgency.

I placed my gloved hands inside my jacket pockets to keep them warm,  after a few minutes I discovered that my normal route was flooded and frozen over.

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What to do?

I walked gingerly and listened to the ice buckle and crack under my feet. It eventually gave way and I gave a silent thank you to waterproof boots as I continued on.

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I was at this point in the trail when I reached the solace point.

And…

The forest enveloped me in her icy embrace that I was impervious to, thanks to my internal thermal garments.

So, I continued on.

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The beauty of winter is often underrated, as the cold reveals the terrain for what it is…

The majesty of the cliffs that jut out from the landscape are magnetic.

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The power of the stream rushing to my right refuses to succumb to a fate of ice, being still isn’t what it aspires to.

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I look up & wonder about the vantage point from the cliff…. I pause, before continuing on.

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I reach a point in the forest where I usually ford the rocks to get to the other side only to find that it is covered by a layer of ice…

I see a future on me on my ass, which is a deal breaker.

No options, so I continue on… Discovering a path to my left.

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I’m not ready to turn back because I haven’t acquired what I came here to get. I look upstream to see if there is another way across.

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I follow this path and I kick  myself for not discovering this route previously…

And… I continue on.

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The sound of the water rushing by insulates me from numbness spreading into my fingers.

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I’m compelled to reach back to grab my camera, rabidly removing my gloves to snap pictures as I continue on.

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The rush of the water is growing in volume… Filling my ears with the splendor of the sound.

So I continue on…

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I wasn’t prepared for what was over the hill…

Undaunted, I continued on…

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Here lies another set of waterfalls that I was oblivious to… I made my way down to the stream and absorbed the divine. My appendages weren’t cold, but were pulsating with the warmth of divine intervention.

I didn’t want to continue on…

But I did.

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The icy embrace of winter made its presence felt as I continued on.

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How had this segment of the park slipped through my fingers after all of these years I wondered.

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As I walked, I felt free, unburdened, unencumbered and I felt a smile creep over my face.

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And I continued on…

Content after finding what I was looking for…

A slice of solace, piece of mind, a hug from the Almighty.