During the seven years I drove to the midwest from my home in New Mexico I referred to this part of the country as “the land of lush.” I was reminded of that again this morning during my “Awg*-walk” in Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve. (Read about it!)
Just four miles north of my place in Valparaiso, Coffee Creek is a 150+ -acre preserve and mixed-use community. I think I’ve seen it in all four seasons now and I’m fickle about my favorite. I guess it depends on the day. For right now, summer is tops because every step, rounding every turn along the sand or crushed granite or boardwalk trails offers up treats for the eyes.
Compared to the Chihuahuan Desert with its rolling foothills covered with sage, mesquite and yucca, the lush Coffee Creek is another world. I loved living in the desert, but missed the moist, verdant Hoosierland vegetation and damp creek beds teeming with green. In the desert, my nose relished the sun soaked sage and juniper. Here, I smell the old earth, the humus a natural fertilizer. Say I’m silly, but as I write this, I am so moved by nature and so grateful to be able to sense it, to appreciate it.
What’s important here is taking time to embrace the natural world. There can be no strife in my life if I connect with nature. I let it in, swirl around in my head like a super dose of caffeine – only better. It doesn’t give me a headache when I withdraw. Nor does it make me run for the bathroom.