Sunday, January 25, 2009
A Stroll in the Woods
It’s been pre-Hurricane Ike since my bride and I strolled in the woods over at Walter L. Jenkins Park, so we leashed up the Shih Tzu, hopped in the hoopty and off we went.
Jenkins Park, as it’s more commonly known is located at 4334 Crosby Cedar Bayou Road and is 40 acres in size and Baytown’s third largest Park, but that is fixing to change, as the city has purchased 56 additional acres of land beside the existing Park. Jenkins Park also has about two miles of fantastic trails which make you feel like you are in the great outdoors.
The city is in the process of installing fences in the new addition for a giant dog park and it appears there will be two sections, one for large dogs and one for smaller dogs, which sounds good to me and I suspect our doggies will have access in the next few months. I notice the city has been very active in planting trees also, which is always a plus. The city installed some fancy doggie pick-it-up stations, so responsible pet owners can follow up on their pets. Another good idea!
Cross over Cary Bayou on one of the three bridges and you can walk through the woods to the tennis courts at J. C. Holloway Park on Raccoon Drive. It’s all very secure and safe and this morning, the trail was very active with joggers, walkers and folks with dogs on leashes. I like to hike alongside Cary Bayou also and this would be a logical place to expand the gravel trail. Our Parks Superintendent, Scott Johnson tells me they are going to replace the center bridge with a wider better bridge sometime in the near future.
On today’s hike, I couldn’t believe how air-ish and open the woods felt. The hurricane did extensive damage to the normally tree-crowded landscape. As we neared J. C. Holloway Park, heavy brush and downed trees were being removed by workers and after a short conversation with one of the operators, I learned they were cleaning all the dead wood out. All the same, it’s a spectacular view of the destructive force of a hurricane.
My bride and I sat down on one of the benches, which in my opinion are too few and attempted to “smell the roses”. Everyone knows the saying, but few of us, including me, actually make time to do it properly. We are caught up in our fast pace and getting off this roller coaster finds us jogging along side – and we tell ourselves we are relaxing. I read one time that it can take fourteen days to break out of our fast pace.
The Europeans are famous for knowing how to relax and we are just as famous for chasing the dollar. I think more benches along the trail would encourage folks to have a seat. Have a seat and do nothing, but listen, or maybe read a book. Sit and watch a bird or a squirrel. Do nothing but sit. Now that’s real living.
“True happiness is in the fulfillment of our duties” my bride quotes me as we sit on the bench after I remark that this makes me happy. I explain to her that true happiness is indeed fulfilling the things we need to do, but in the context of attempting the superficial happiness at Disneyland or a vacation cruise in the Bahamas, not trying to smell the roses. I still contend that real happiness comes when we do well or accomplish something, not in artificial places and things, which only rub the surface of real happiness.
Peace and contentment can be accomplished by sitting on a bench in the woods and letting the sun shine on our face. It’s the simplicity of it that brings deep satisfaction.
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