Sometimes the silence has to be deafening

Gunpowder Falls

Gunpowder River

And here I sat, bewildered at the reality that the swirling demands of my life and what I consider my “priorities” always take shape and come into focus when I’m away from “it” all, sitting the lap of nature. Often I come to the relevation that I need to change course.

I woke this morning with the noble goal of clipping coupons and heading to the grocery store. But, this simple trip turned into something else altogether. I bypassed the grocery store altogether with the mandate of figuring “it” all out, today.

I drove purposefully until I found my way to Gunpowder Falls, these winding paths, trees, assorted streams and the rushing river have served as my psychiatrist countless times over the years.

DSC_1270

I inhaled deeply, kneeled down to lace up my boots, after observing the knot I rose to my feet and started walking, with the goal of figuring “it” out all out firmly planted in my head.

I walk until I am unable to hear the world that I left behind me and when this happens, a feeling of peace envelops me.

Making my way on the trail.

Making my way on the trail.

The ground is saturated with the rain from the past day so that I hear each step that I make with a sloshing consistency.

And much to my surprise many of the areas where I would sit engrossed in my thoughts in years past are flooded over, so I continuing walking North.

After coming to section of the forest that I would leisurely walk across to reach the other side, I discover it is flooded, but I am undeterred.

I push on.

I push on.

So, I group all of my items into my pockets and push ahead. I make my way across the stream without falling in, much to my surprise.

Keeping my balance, even though these boots are waterproof.

Keeping my balance, even though these boots are waterproof.

As I continue on the river widens, I cautiously navigate the rocks in the river to make my way across to a subsection of small islands, where I grab a seat to bear witness to it all.

DSC_1285

I sit here for over an hour being soothed by the sounds of the water crashing against the rocks. My mind conflicted with my futile pursuit of living life just to be living it, rather than living it with a purpose.

I’ve often heard people oversimplify the journey of life by saying that “We are born to die” but as I sit here I realize that we are born to leave a legacy, to leave the places that we inhabit in a better state than we found it in.

This is in direct contrast to being a taker rather than one who gives and enriches.

Then…

An overwhelming sense of clarity hits like a thud.

Solace is ever present here.

Solace is ever present here.

What is it that I am running from that I have to rediscover it here?

I’ve spent so much of my life looking at life as a adversary, angry because it has rebuffed my pleas of friendship when I would have been better served, respecting it as a teacher and being mindful that life is an exercise of living on borrowed time.

Soothing my soul in the best way I know how – The Falls

Rocks State Park is probably one of the most serene places in Maryland.

I often find myself here when my stress load is at its apex. Like I’ve mentioned in my previous writings, water serves as a dumping ground for what could otherwise be the insanity inducing travails of life.

Often, I sit at the streambed and not unlike a file making its way to a Smartphone or a computer… I download, my eyes are like a USB cable as they provide me connectivity with the flowing current of the water.

Image

Image

Eventually, I break my connection with the water and make my way 190 feet up to a natural rock outcrop that was once a ceremonial gathering place for the Susquehannock, called the King & Queen seat. And I let the wind blow through my person as I survey the life that is teeming below me.

Image

Image

As I make my way down from the King & Queen Seat… I know I can’t leave from the confines of the park without paying my respects to the Falls.

Kilgore Falls is what makes this area so dangerous to the element of time, as I always lose track of it, sitting at the base of the falls, being covered in the cooling mist.

Image

The beauty that is encountered on the way is no match for the splendor of the falls. I always make sure to walk slowly, to absorb every bit of the solace. Keeping my ear trained to capture the initial sound of the falls, is an exercise in suppressing the climatic moment…

Image

As I make my way up the path to the Falls… Each time is like it is my first.

Image

Image

She beckons me closer and commands that I sit… I can’t resist her and I acquiesce.

Image

Sauntering with Nature…

The world that we live in is toxic at best. In order to have any semblance of sanity is to develop some type of mechanism to cleanse ourselves from that which which wear away at the very core of who we are.  Years ago I found that escape in nature, it is a dumping ground for the madness that is often my everyday existence.

In the absence of noise pollution and the sensory overload of the urban jungle I find peace…

Image

At first glance you wouldn’t think that Baltimore’s Herring Run Park is polluted and that is recommended that people not come in contact with the water, but it is. Amazingly, this doesn’t take away from the solace that many parts of it holds.

Image

Gunpowder Falls is one of the most beautiful places in Maryland. It never ceases to amaze me how each area is vastly different that the next. The beauty of how the silence envelopes you, is without equal.

Image

Looking out at the Chesapeake from North Point State Park is nothing scoff at…

Image

It was my hope that making the ascent up the step incline of Elk Neck State Park would have a payoff… It didn’t help that I left my water in the car.

Image

Walking with the Chesapeake  Bay as my backdrop was like walking with an old friend…

Image

This leg of the walk through Elk Neck was deceptively long… I started second guessing the wisdom of taking this on but, I wanted to see the lighthouse so I continued on.

Image

Paydirt! Turkey Point Lighthouse! A slice of history, the lighthouse was built in 1833, sitting on a 100-foot high bluff overlooking the Chesapeake Bay.

 

20121122_154509

 

Nothing like the Patapsco Valley.