Park Therapy for the Senses

Saturday. One day left before the long road trip to Maine. After days of packing, purging, organizing and exchanging info with people dear to me, I was stressed, on edge and somewhat angry. I felt the harsh past of 2020 come up again and during my usual drive, I made a spontaneous choice to go to a park to calm my nerves.

The weather was cooperative today and it showed as I stepped out from the car and ventured into Walter Jones Historic Park. Tree branches danced in the breeze and sunlight poured through others from older trees towering over the park. Birds chirped in the distance and I spotted many dragonflies buzzing to wherever their destinations were.

Still feeling the pangs of anger in my mind, I sat on a sunken swing bench, pulled out my stash of crystals and entered a five minute meditation. With each breath I felt the warm air fill my lungs with calm and peace. With each exhale, I released the anger plaguing me and made room for my mind to quiet down. Under my eyelids, my vision turned orange as a ray of sunlight warmed my face.

Breathing and slowly exhaling one last time, I opened my eyes. I was calm. I was warm. I was ready for a midday adventure.

I headed towards the dock where salty waves slapped the weathered wood and sprayed the air with a salty mist. I listened to the waves and imagined them washing away the worries, stress and rage deep inside me, even if only for just a moment. My mind teased me with the thought of dipping a hand into the water, but I declined the opportunity.

I turned to walk along the wooden bridge and noticed a small path marked by orange ribbons. Following the path, I checked for any spiderwebs hanging about and was rewarded with a clearing facing the St. Johns River. Another wooden dock sat on the far left and blades of an unknown green grass blew in the breeze while waves washed through them. It was a perfect quiet spot obscured from the main path. A perfect spot to sit, listen to the waves and breathe.

I sat my water bottle down and kneeled to dip my hand into the water. It was cool, refreshing and while there were grains of earth mixed in, none irritated my skin in any way. As an afterthought, I pulled out two crystals and planted them with the small rocks near the water. I watched as each wave washed over the crystals, cleansing them of old energy and preparing them for future charging.

With my crystals cleansed, I exited the clearing and spotted a lone brown rabbit chewing on some grass and leaves. It stopped to eye me cautiously, but eventually resumed feasting once determining me to not be a threat. My mouth stretched into a smile at the wonder of noticing nature’s many creatures out in the wild.

I continued my walk and stopped twice to watch the salty waves again for pleasure. I breathed in and sighed deeply, loving the sound of water fill my ears. A small poem filled my mind as I exited the park.

Be like the water.
Let it flow through you.
Let it wash away your worries,
Your stress,
Your anger,
Your pain.
Let it all be washed away.
Be like the water
And flow.

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