This weekend officially kicked off spring break for my students and me. Two months ago, I decided that I was going to whisk away to a sunny Florida resort in Daytona Beach to visit my little brother, but mainly to soak up the sun on a beautiful beach. Then I decided “Nah, I could do that in the summer. I’d rather go visit my sister, my sweet nephews, and my brother-in-law in bustling Brooklyn, NY”. About two weeks away from the beginning of spring break, I hadn’t bought any tickets, hadn’t made any flight plans, and definitely hadn’t began packing. I ultimately didn’t know where I wanted to go. I felt a strong sense to move, to go, to do something different. Yet simultaneously I felt a desire to stay home and have a sleep-filled “staycation”. Simply put, I was too undecided to get my life together to make official plans. So, I stayed home with my dog Tika and we started off spring break in lousy moods, curled up in bed with the heater acting as a substitute for the warmth of a Floridian sun.
On Sunday after church, I decided to make a random decision to go somewhere, anywhere with Tika. We were going to go somewhere even if it meant right down the street to the dog park! However, I stumbled upon a hidden gem. A national park in Maryland called Piscataway Park. It’s a stunning natural beauty that is also home to the National Farm. With spring weather finally in the air at a warm 67 degrees, we packed up and drove an hour to take in the beautiful scenery. The picture at the top of this blog is one of the pictures I managed to capture while there. It may seem simple to some, but to me it holds a spring revelation that occurred while my sweet pup and I sloshed through thick, mud-filled trails and braved eye contact with grazing bulls on the farm.
How often do we whisk away to well-known resorts, amusement parks, or foreign countries for some rest and relaxation during spring break or the summer months? We tend to neglect the hidden gems and casual beauty of the local landscape around us, favoring grandiose examples of vacations in faraway places. However, this simple picture of a tree in its nascent phase of blossoming juxtaposed with a rustic barn that’s seen over a century of life, spoke so deeply to how simple beauties like this carry so much meaning, wisdom, and life especially as we enter into spring. I don’t need a fancy vacation or resort or Florida sun (it would be nice though) to make me feel at peace, rested, relaxed, blessed, or grateful. What I personally need is this picture as a reminder of the beauty that is all around us in the most simple and basic ways.
Do you have a hidden gem or local place that brings you peace, rest, relaxation, and gratitude? If so, where? I’d love to know more about it and what spring revelation it brings to you. As a matter of fact, I’d love to see a picture! Please send them my way and I hope, as we embrace the warmth of spring, that you find your inner peace and revelation in the small, quiet yet beautiful moments around you and with those you love.