|Saint Edward State Park- Lainey Piland photo|
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”...and to that I say: Amen. Nature has repeating rhythms and a capacity for renewal that are astonishing and comforting, and have the ability to put our own worries and struggles into perspective. The natural world around us is a great visual reminder that in the grand scheme of things, there are no insults, setbacks, or difficulties from which we cannot recover.
― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
Last weekend, my husband and I went hiking at Saint Edward State Park, which is one of my absolute favorite places to visit. Comprised of more than 300 acres of mostly-wooded property, this park is a study in nature's capacity for renewal. Those who visit the park and are unaware of its history would likely be surprised to learn that the forest was clear-cut in the early 20th century. This is shocking because presently the park boasts a lush and diverse second-growth forest and massive trees that look as though they've stood for centuries.
Here are a few photos taken on a recent hike at Saint Edward which speak to nature's ability to renew itself. I gave these photos the snazzy name of "Hemlocks Growing from Cedar Stumps" (although perhaps "Alien Tree Takeover" would also be appropriate, and a bit more colorful...):
Whether it is the rising and setting of the sun each day or the regrowth of a once clear-cut forest, nature's rhythms and continual renewal are indeed healing and soothing, if we learn to seek them out.