Wetland Wonders

Grand River State Wildlife Area: Wetlands just off Norton Lane

I thought that Kent State University’s week of Final Exams was going to allow me to slow down and catch up. Students usually become less available when they have to lock in for final projects, final papers, and final exams — so I end up with extra time to catch up on desk work and reduce my hours to make up for putting in too many hours over the last month or so.

But for a variety of different reasons, things haven’t slowed down as much as I wanted them to this week.

Fortunately, I got to experience a moment of calm and clarity this week, in the midst of all the chaos of my everyday life. And it came about because this week just so happened to include the first Tuesday of the month. Our church’s Staff Team has developed a regular rhythm of using the first Tuesday of every month to set aside our business agenda and seek the Lord through the practice of spiritual disciplines. It’s like a way of “tithing” our time, reminding ourselves that we are not the Saviors of the world; Jesus is the Savior of the world. Truthfully, most times, these first Tuesdays of the month feel restful but not necessarily revolutionary. This week, however, ended up feeling like an absolute life-line for me.

Grand River State Wildlife Area: Wetlands just off Norton Lane

I decided to head to Trumbull County, where I’ve been chipping away at a hiking quest over the past year or so. I went to this place in the northern part of the county called the Grand River State Wildlife Area — since I figured that the preceding week or two featured more sun than rain, which would have allowed the muddy earth to solidify and provide safe passage through the natural world. And — I tell you what — it was so good to watch God’s Creation doing its thing without the slightest regard for the chaos of my life.

The muskrat was busy building a nest, I think, swimming through the shallow marsh with a small tree branch in its mouth. The bald eagle was swooping away from its gigantic nest to procure more food for its young. The butterflies were flitting and floating. The frogs were singing and jumping into the water as I passed. All of the grasses and reeds and bushes and trees — even the lazy old oak trees — were greening up and brushing out.

Grand River State Wildlife Area: Wetlands just off Norton Lane

It felt like a revelation, a wonder, to realize that life in the wetlands just off of Norton Lane was flourishing, even though I had never set foot on that land previously (and honestly, probably not a lot of other humans had set foot on that land, either). It did my heart so much good to see that God is a magnificent Creator, Sustainer, Provider, Protector, Comforter, Redeemer, and Savior.

I just needed to slow down. Sit with Jesus. Break my daily bread with a heart of worship and let God open up my eyes to see the world as He sees it.

This entry was posted in God, H2O Kent, Health, Hiking, Introspection, Leadership, Ohio, Photography, Prayer, Recommendations, Recreation. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *