Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Soul-Filled Day

We are very fortunate in our city to have bountiful activities and attractions to take advantage of. Take a look at Chattanooga Fun and you’ll see for yourself. If you’ve never visited Chattanooga before, I highly recommend it!

This past Monday I took advantage of one such activity, the Chattanooga Arboretum and Nature Center. There are two parts to this awesome property. One is the boardwalk, which winds its way through a seasonal wetland along Lookout Creek. Part of this area includes a wildlife refuge with enclosures housing native wildlife such at the federally endangered Red Wolf, red-tailed hawks, a bobcat, bald eagle, etc. The other part to the CNC is the Reflection Riding Driving Loop. According to their website, the three-mile driving loop provides a tour of the main park from the comfort of ones own car and meanders pleasantly through pastoral settings, woodland gardens, wildflower meadows, reflection ponds and beside the banks of Lookout Creek.

After turning off Highway 41, the winding road traveling to the CNC was lined with azaleas, white and pink dogwoods and fresh sweet green leaves on budding trees. And this was just the road leading to the Nature Center!


I was the only car on the loop for the entire hour and a half. I stopped in the middle of the road to listen, observe and breathe in the sweet aroma of fresh cut grass and blooming plants. Golly, it was beautiful! The wildflowers were carpeting the ground with flaming yellows and a dusting here and there of baby pinks and shades of violets. Some of the dogwood blooms were as big as the palm of my hand. And the birds? They sounded like a chorus of angels!

I probably hadn’t traveled a few hundred yards when I noticed a fluttering in the wildflowers on the side of the road. This is what I found.


So I paused for a few minutes and watched. This little guy was gleaning some sweet nectar!


Every turn, every bend fed my eyes and soul to the brim.



The light was captivating as it danced through the new growth on the tree branches.




Because I just don’t have the proper words to describe my soul-filled day, I will borrow some beautiful quotes from a naturalist, an English novelist and an American poet/author.

Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm. ~ John Muir

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. ~ John Muir

Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. ~ John Muir

To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.  ~ Jane Austen

And perhaps my favorite summation . . .

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. ~ e.e. cummings


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