I took the time, last week, to walk through a small section of Bidwell Park in Chico, California. It is a beautiful place, especially in the fall. I started at One Mile, which is a swimming hole that is quite active during the summer, as it can get quite hot in Chico.
The walk was mostly down a dirt path that ran beside the Big Chico Creek. It was quiet, except for the occasional bicycle or dog passing by. Quiet, except for the falling of the giant leaves through the trees and bushes. That was noisy, amazingly so. Noisy too, was the crunching of those leaves beneath my feet. It almost seemed as if they were exceptionally dry this year. Quiet, except for the woodpeckers, pecking in the trees and the squirrels busily collecting nuts and seeds for the upcoming winter. It was quiet and so very busy at the same time.
I was forced to stop and reflect while the creek went rushing by. It reminded me of many of the creeks and streams that ran through the neighborhoods, in Santa Cruz, where I lived as a child. I always would stop to view the cool clear water creeks, as I found the water spiders and tadpoles completely mesmerizing in my youth.
I was fascinated by the water on this leaf. The sun was shining on it and sparkling in an extrodinary way. (I guess that I haven’t left my youth behind as much as I tend to think that I have from day to day.)
The sun filtering through the leaves was so wonderful to view and it made my soul lift and feel free (child like).
The creek was still running at a good pace, even though we are in a drought, and I would watch the leaves as they would go floating toward the Little Chico Creek that runs through the University Campus. As a child, I would have been creating leaf races on the creek, but there were enough leaves falling into the creek to create leaf races of their own.
I think it is important to stop and fill your mind with the colors, sights, and sounds of each season. This place and the silences reminded me of Connecticut and the silence that I found there on the Long Island Sound. I penned the final poem in my book, Imprints, while listening to the silence of the sound.
There is a peacefulness that fills you, in the silences that you can find everyday. You only need to seek out those silences. Its hard sometimes, with our busy schedules to find the silence, but it’s there. Listen…..