There are few places in this world that have a special part of my heart. Places where I grew up and that have become woven in the fabric of my being, shaping the person I've become. If you ever pass through Harrisburg, North Carolina you should take a walk down the trails of Frank Liske Park.
My Dad and I would take walks there on Sunday afternoons when I was little. We'd have our own family adventures, for a few hours, exploring the trees, the flowing stream, and the spaces in between. It seemed so endless then, the trees too tall to see the tops of, the water so high I could bury my feet in the sand, and the beauty of the wild violets so pristine that I dared to even touch them. Now when I walk through the woods it brings me back to that feeling, that anything was possible, that the world had so many special places to share, and that it was a secret only I knew.
Frank Liske has seen many parts of my life, in some ways I grew up with those trees. After the afternoon adventures, it was field competitions with classmates and jogging with friends in high school. The trees heard sweethearts talking about futures that seemed so far away, and heart to hearts with girlfriends about the occasional prom date and their greatest desires. Then it was bringing home friends from college to meet them and to be playful again between projects and GPAs. I can't help but think of the people who've been in my life that I've shared the trails with, some who came and quickly left, and others who will forever be in my heart.
For today's nostalgia, I took myself back to being a junior in high school and I seeing my entire future ahead of me. I knew exactly what I wanted and how I was going to get it. After a walk through these tree on a summer afternoon, a friend and I sat on the porch with their family, and when their parents asked me what I was going to do, I said I was going to be the editor of the yearbook senior year, I was going to receive an early acceptance from UNCG, which I had already applied for, and then I was going to graduate with a degree in design four years later.
So here I am, those four years later, walking through the trees and I no longer have any idea what the future ahead of me is. I still know what I want and an idea of how to get there, but its not a rigid plan of do's and don'ts on a checklist anymore. It's an overwhelming feeling of helplessness, not being able to see the future, not being able to make what you want happen instantaneously. The only thing left is the moment in front of me, this very moment. So I took this afternoon to listen to the trees again, and to let the silence of the park envelop me, to touch the textures allowing them to linger on my fingertips, and hoping the crispness of the air will seep into my veins giving restoration to my soul so I can let that feeling of endlessness back in. Because at 22 I'm on another adventure, and the only thing in front of me is a future.
(This rock was my thinking spot where I could sit for hours)
Reflection on the Stream