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Sunday, January 29, 2017

A day in the park.

It has been a while since I made a video of any kind. It is not for lack of desire, or a lack of apps, in fact there are a couple of new apps that have more potential than I deserve. But, you have to have a base, something to build on, it can be a series of pictures, or a video, but it isn’t like sitting down and hammering out a blog post where there are no real requirements, no need for a foundation. Just start typing and see where it goes.

I decided to take a walk through the park, take a few pictures, see a few things, get the blood flowing, and maybe come up with a few ideas. It was a lot colder than I thought. And I have developed a terrible, permanent cramp that runs from my hip to my toes on the left leg. Limping takes a lot longer. I couldn’t find my camera, so it seemed like an idea doomed from the start. But, stubbornly I went. I had my phone.

Nature is fantastic. I love nature. Obviously it is a lot easier to love when it has a paved path running through the middle, not as muddy, easier to navigate. I love to fish, but it is so much easier because I never catch anything. I have a kayak, but as far as I know it has never been in the water, maybe this year.

Still, nature is wonderful. Central Ohio has some spots that are amazing. Nestled in the midst of the ugliness of rapidly expanding humanity, houses, apartments, office buildings shooting up, chopping down forests, pulling up roots of trees hundreds of years old. Big, ugly tractors pushing piles of dirt, so big, bland buildings can take the place of the artwork Mother Nature has been creating for thousands of years. Progress marches on, over and through, I guess.
Though, a greatly reduced, and controlled version of nature, I love walking through the park. I know for everything seen there are a dozen unseen. And that is fine. A lot of those are not things you really want to see while you are limping through a park in weather so cold hardly anybody else was brave enough to limp around the paved path.

Sometimes in the morning, driving to work on a road that runs beside the creek that bisects the park, and less than a hundred yards from the entry, coyotes sit, watching, waiting. Coyotes are not large, and rarely attack humans, from what little I understand. But, nobody wants to be that exception. There are skunks, raccoons, rats, turkeys, deer, all hidden away, lurking just below the tranquil surface. Hardly a murderers row of predators, but nothing to mess with, either.

In those lonelyy moments, though, it is enough to see nature in all its beauty. Death, birth, life all working together in one frame. A symbiotic relationship between decay, growth, rot and rejuvenation. This time of year, the stark, humbling nakedness of the trees, and the long views allowed paint a picture of a world at rest.
Peace, quiet, and solitude. Only the sound of the water tumbling over rocks. It is almost spiritual. The hand of God, displaying its power in a small park in the middle of Ohio.

In one place along the path is a monument. At the far end of a circular walkway is a granite slab in remembrance of a young lady, a little girl, really, who took her own life in the park. Oddly enough she went to elementary school with my youngest son. They had gone on to different high schools and were not close, but it still had an effect, a chilling, icy grip.Even in the cold, even while dragging my stiff, sore leg behind me, I have to stop and say a silent prayer. Anybody who can walk past that without feeling some pain is probably in too big of a hurry.

Walking past abandoned baseball diamonds, this is the serious pre season, and a silent, empty bog, it was impossible not to think about the noise of children who would soon be dressed in uniforms, occupying fields, chewing gum and chasing the most American of values, sports stardom. Chewing gum, sunflower seeds and serious coaches and parents making the area hum with tension. And a short hop away the bog would be alive with croaking frogs, hunting snakes, and the life of nature's season.

What does any of this have to do with making a video? Probably nothing, maybe a little. But, sometimes a moment of walk through a small park, all by yourself, and take the time to remember all of the things that are important. A video is still coming, it might be the trip to the store and library with my wife today. But, it is coming.