A drive and a walk. A simple first Sunday in April. Not something I usually do.
This is Canoe Creek State Park. A few minutes drive east from where I’d usually be on a day like today. Hometown – Altoona, Pa.
Don’t know why it was necessary to experience this calm and silence. I’m not the guy who looks for natural moments like this. I like reflective, insightful keyboard thoughts at my desk with warm mugs of tea sitting by as friendly hellos. Whisking away on my phone – while elbows rest on a well-worn, faded picnic table – is quite the different experience.
Up in the distance sky, a few small aircraft break the silent blue. Small pebbles crunch under the feet of the few passerbys on the stoney path behind me. The lake ahead is so calm. Small ripples touch the same breeze moments later crossing over my relaxing shoulders. Even the chatter coming from a dad and his toddler playground playing nearby doesn’t distract from sounds of soothing wind sails crossing over my ears.
This is a Sparkling Sunday – not a brilliantly shiny one. Just one that has, for me, a spark of something new … different. This is the first Sunday in years – in April – I’m not at a particular location doing my “thing”. My concession stand, for 13 years, has been – loyally, without fail – at a particular location every Sunday from April through October. Today, I’m not there. Through a series of decisions not necessarily my own, it wasn’t to be. They announced an opening day of April 4th (today) … I drove by. Closed.
So, I continued onward. The drive was necessary. Down a few local roads and one state highway, my car ended up here. I sit on a bench looking out over a lake remembering all the family reunions, church picnics, and events I attended at this very park. Most folks I remember now are eternally silent. They are as silent as the lake, but as alive in my memory as all the folks now walking and playing within my eyesight.
The spring sun is warm against my beaten leather jacket. That same sun gives me the opportunity to look at a beautiful, shimmering glow across the lake. Each little sparkle could be a memory … a new experience ahead … or simply a reminder to us that one day at a time is all we really have.
Another toddler has joined the fun with her dad at the playground. They are playing quietly with each other. Dad has a hand over his eyes looking out over the lake – while keeping guard over his loved ones. I suspect he sees the same magic I do. His thoughts and experiences perhaps a bit different than mine, but still appreciating the calm and quiet of the moments.
This is a special Sunday for me. Yes, it’s Easter for Christians. This, today, is a sanctuary.
I’m so glad nature was at the end of my drive and walk today.