What a journey this continues to be in every way. Barnie and I have been exploring Florida (the top half anyway) for about three weeks! It has been such an amazing experience to be able to liesurely wander along the coast, which is gorgeous. I don't know what I was expecting but it was not the lushness of the forest making its way to the water. This state really does its state parks right!
Greyton Beach was described as being "Middle-Earth Like" and since my sweetie and I loved those Tolkien books and movies, I had to go there. Never mind that it was sold out! I was told there was a slim chance I might get a spot - first come, first served. So as I pulled up I asked for a little heavenly assistance, going so far as to say aloud I'd love a secluded spot next to the water. I am sure you can guess the rest... you know, the ranger lady saying "Sorry, can't help you" to looking again and saying, "Oh this is really your lucky day. The most requested spot just became vacant as the people left a day early!" Lucky indeed! (See pix below.)
It occurred to me as I left that magical place, that it could notget any better than that. But I caught myself and reframed to say, again aloud (this sort of thing seems to happen with increasing frequency the longer I am alone), "It not only CAN get better, but it very likely will!"
So... you guessed it - it did! Meet my favorite, most gorgeous, prisitine and "away-from-it-all" camping place thus far, St. Josesph's Peninsula. AWESOME! Here I had no cell reception, and a quiet voice in my head suggested I take a cue from the phone and spend my time there (3 days & 2 nights) with no electronic distractions what-so-ever. No computer with it's addictive games, e-mails and internet. No music inside or on the i-pod on my walks. Just me and Barnie and the wild critters (plenty of them to my absolute delight!), the waves and wind and occasional RV admirerer (I've gotten a lot of condfirmation that I chose my home-on-wheels well from other RVers).
It really felt like my time here returned me to my natural state of, well... being a naturalist! My senses hightened to every sound and detail. I slowly admired that what at first seemed like obvious and simple things, but they became so... mystical and profound. Things like all the various bird calls from red cardinals, black birds, thrush's and more, unfamiliar animal tracks in the sand, saying an admiring god morning to several deer, the sweet soft feel of the powdery white sand and gentle breeze, and how the sunlight illuminates the palm leaves and pine needles. And I will never forget how the floor of sea grass in the bay literally came alive as I floated in knee deep water with snorkle and mask. It went from sand and greensh-brown grass to suddenly moving with life everywhere in the form of a big bizarre crab with long stick-like legs, loads of hermit crabs and strange sea snails of evey size (a first for me), not to mention all the little fish that came to investigate me at close range when I did not move. I felt as though I'd been let into a secret club... a hidden world so different but so close to my own all the same. Truly, truly wonder-full!
Then came another first for me in the form of fresh water springs so crystal clear and pure you can see every fish and turtle and stare in awe at the color, which my camara captured pretty well. This is Manatee Springs State Park where it rained almost all day and I slipped into the water with snorkle and mask again to another very different world! (more on manatees in the next blog!)
There is so much more still to share - stories about the new friends I made and the great time we had Thank you Ginna and Paul!), and the old friend I am currently staying with in St. Augustine. (Love you LeeAnn!) More on that in phase two of Florida in my next entry.
Thanks and blessings of all good things to those of you who journey with me on this blog. I am humbled and appreciative that you do so.
And for now, just know I am happy to be here and am finding it easier to answer people when they ask how I can do this sort of thing so young. I can say now, and not with misty eyes every time, that it is a win from loss. I tell the few friendly folks I meet and chat with (I tend to keep a pretty low profile when solo - connecting mostly only with sweet retired couples with dogs!) that my most amazing and beloved husband made this possible through his infinite love and caring, which I still feel so close and dear every day.
Thank you sweetheart.