Judy Hagey

Nonfiction Editor ~ Freelance Writer

Soul Food

WekivaFalls_rszdWith ten days to go before our Living Social coupon expired, we made our way back to Wekiva Falls Park. You may remember we attempted this outing back in July but had failed to read the fine print restricting use of this particular coupon to non-holiday days and weekends.

This time there was no line to get into the park. The friendly attendant invited us into the office to redeem the coupon, pick up a map and claim our vouchers for a double canoe or two kayak rentals. Hubby’s preference was two kayaks. I’m more experienced in a canoe, but then given Florida’s flat topography, I knew the current was not fast and that I could handle a kayak.

At the Meandering Marina we picked up life jackets and oars in exchange for Hubby’s drivers license and were directed to “cross the red bridge” to choose our vessel. Make that a once-red bridge. The paint had all but faded and chipped away, but it was still sturdy enough to handle the foot traffic.

Meander is the perfect word to describe the river and the lifestyle it seems to engender. And it was just what we needed. All the worries of the last couple of weeks (Hubby’s health, job stresses) slid off our shoulders as easily as our kayaks glided through the silent waters of the Wekiva.

 

WekivaRiver1

The river is smooth and nearly as clear as glass in some places. I cringed when my clumsy paddling slapped the river’s surface. We were in a sanctuary and any sound other than the birds’ music and dragonflys’ hum seemed like a transgression. Two motor boats interrupted my reverie—like irreverent children breaking loose from their parents to tromp over the pews. We glared as they passed. But they could not disturb the quiet that had descended on my soul. Despite the offense, I was in the presence of God.

He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.

Yes, He restored my soul. Soaking in the sun, admiring the soon-to-flower lily pad, the heron stalking the banks for a bite of breakfast, the turtle sunning itself on a fallen log, the tiny eddys formed by the fish below a peaceful calm came over me.

Wekiva_chair2We chuckled over the recliner sitting on the river bank. A real redneck icon.

But maybe the owner of that Lazy Boy had it right. Pull up a chair along the river bank and let the quiet pour over you. Park your chair out there so you can breathe in the peace and quiet – not once a year – but regularly. Absorb the peace; let your mind meander; think on the Creator and marvel at the creation. It does a body and a soul good.

Have you had your soul food lately?

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