Simple Pleasures

I find pleasure walking through nature and visiting historic sites. A stroll through Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park was a peaceful and nostalgic adventure. It took me back to my childhood and my native Cuba, visiting my family’s farm – the sights, the smells, the sounds. A melting pot of distant memories surfacing through this new experience.

Though I did not capture the path in my pictures, as you walk into the grounds, you are surrounded by a citrus grove, what Rawlings considered the heart of the farm and which she hoped would sustain her while she did what she loved, write.

The barn, now unused and dusty was the hive of activity in its day.  The oranges were picked, put in crates and on the cart to be delivered to the nearby packing house.

The rooster and hens, and their cousins the ducks, walk the grounds and sit around, not intimidated by the visitors who walk along with them.

The hen-house sits empty, a shadow of what used to be, once again transporting me to the past… to the day my little cousin squeezed a soft little chick almost to its death.  Honestly, all he was doing was loving it.  But my aunt was nearby and her expert hands brought it back to life.

The tenant house sits to the side of the property, a doorway to the nature walk behind.

And so we reach my favorite part, a path through trees and flowers, through warm sun rays and beauty.

As we say goodbye, we glance back — one more look and this too becomes a memory, food for the soul which hungers for peace, for beauty, for love.

“Bless Us,” I thought, “the world must be hungry.”  And so it is.  Hungry for food and drink – not so much for the mouth as for the mind; not for the stomach, but for the spirit.” –Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Cross Creek Cookery, 1942

PS – I’m off to read The Yearling, Rawlings’ 1938 Pulitzer Prize winning novel.