Gift #1002: Spring Mill

This weekend I had a wonderful getaway at Spring Mill State Park with my family.   I love going there so much – it is beautiful, tranquil, a perfect place to recharge the spirit.  We’ve been there enough times now to be recognized by several who work there and I find myself looking forward to seeing them again.  Everyone there has been so kind and thoughtful to us.  The chef, who we spent a lot of time talking to on our last visit, made sure there was a vegetarian entree for me for most of the stay, which was incredibly thoughtful of him.  The seating hostess made sure to give us tables near the birdfeeders at every meal because they know we enjoy watching the birds.  It’s comforting to know that our paths have intersected so much with the park that we are now met with as much affection as we feel for the people who keep this special place in running order every day.

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My mom and I love to walk the trails – now quite familiar to us.  We have our favorite spots, our favorite trees and fallen logs, our favorite views… the land itself is an old friend now.  As we tread the paths, we can recall our history with the place – times that drew us closer to each other and cultivated a love for this place and a contentment to live here.

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Each visit is a special blend of old and new.  We can experience the same place in different seasons and each trip gives unique memories to cherish.  This time, we were able to do something quite new.  Yesterday we had a Blue Moon hike at dusk led by a park naturalist.  We’ve never had this opportunity when we’ve visited before and it was really exciting to experience the park at dark.  Our guide played some owl calls to try to bring one down.  we didn’t see an owl, but it was interesting to hear the changes in the birdsong once the owl calls started.   It was cloudy and we didn’t get to see much of the moon, but we did appreciate the sounds of the forest transitioning from day to night.  Most birds were singing goodnight and a chorus of crickets picked up the tune to keep it going all night.  The weather was beautiful and it was a magical experience.  On the way back, we got to see a bat flying!  It was too dark to take pictures, but I did write down this phrase that came to me as we savored the dying rays of sunset and welcomed moonlight:

“It was that time of twilight… when the green forest melted into shadows” 

It perfectly described the new experience of watching nightfall in our beloved forest.  A new experience… now a cherished memory.

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Blessings to you,

Sarah

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