Every memory begins with water. From our beginning, we are surrounded by water. Our first sound is that of waves as our mothers move around with us tucked inside. Is it any wonder then that when we are feeling in need of comfort, we so often seek water? This morning was that kind of a morning for me; I wanted the comfort that water can provide. I headed down to Palm Point Park on Newnans Lake to find my comfort.
Of course, water isn’t the only thing that provides comfort. Walking under majestic oak trees always has the power to sooth as well. Knowing that this short trail would lead to a lake rather than to a barbecue at Twelve Oaks made it even better. Not that I am opposed to barbecues at beautiful houses, but I would have been woefully underdressed for such a thing today.
Gray skies that promised rain did not make good on their promise, but there is something in this monochromatic landscape that speaks to me. This great blue heron, one of my favorite birds, with his yellow beak and gray body almost blends in with the scenery as he stands looking for fish.
I love the way this heron stands out against the lush, green trees as he takes a break from fishing. It may be that his nest is in one of the nearby trees. As huge as these birds are, you would think they would nest on the ground, but they like to build their very large nests at the tops of trees. It is amazing to watch them fly!
Just at the side of the lake was a large fallen tree, with its bark long gone, its flesh weathering in the Florida sun. The branches of the tree reach out over the water, their shade striping the water and providing some measure of camouflage for the fish beneath the surface. The shapes of the ghostly branches echo the strange grace of the long-necked heron as he seeks his prey in the shallows of the lake. It is interesting to see how the neutral color of the tree changes so much depending on its background, reflecting the mood of the scene to become the perfect foil. Where the weeds by the lake are warmly colored, the trunk of the tree picks up just a bit on this warmth, but over the grey of the water, the branches appear almost silvery. If you look closely at any scene, you will see how the surrounding objects affect the perception of color on the subject matter.
Although today’s trek did not radically alter the trajectory of my life and I did not come home to a wonderful new job offer on my doorstep, being near the water and enjoying nature did comfort my psyche as I knew it would.