A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. ~Henry David Thoreau
I love water in nature! I like looking at it, listening to it, and observing wildlife in and around it. I think many of us do. What is it about water that draws us in and almost places us in a hypnotic state? I know for me, hearing the sounds of the ocean waves crashing on the shore, or the gentle lapping of the water on a lake shore, or the occasional ripples in a still, almost glass-like pond, or even the babbling of a brook is soothing, relaxing and just makes me calm and happy. It doesn’t get much better.
Nature + water = a peaceful, easy feeling for me
We don’t have a beach, but Tennesseans are fortunate to have an abundance of streams, lakes and rivers to enjoy all year. I discovered a lakeside oasis last week on my drive to Murfreesboro from Nashville and I wanted to share it with you.
This little retreat is right off of Sam Ridley Blvd. on Jefferson Pike in Smyrna, TN.
As I drove into the entrance and headed down the winding lane, I saw my first glimpse of the lake! Happy happy, joy joy!! As we pulled into the parking lot, I couldn’t wait to leash up the boys and start exploring this cool area.
Some of the features to point out about the park—
- Plenty of Parking (large slips for boat trailers)
- A large picnic pavilion
- Numerous picnic tables and grills
- Beautiful, abounding shade trees
- Nice, clean restrooms
- and a delightful view of Percy Priest Lake
Although it wasn’t very crowded that day, activities were bountiful all around me. I saw
a fisherman casting from the shore
a young man leaned up against a tree strumming a guitar
a couple enjoying a picnic
a boater fishing off in the distance
a mom and her two children lounging on a blanket
and a man snoozing in a hammock he had tied to two trees
and at that moment I felt content and happy from head to toe, AKA ‘that peaceful, easy feeling”!
On our exploration we discovered a family of geese (or I believe a ‘gaggle’ is the correct term) puttering around the lake, several ducks waddling around the grounds close to the shore, and a blue heron perched on a buoy eyeing his lunch. We were continuously serenaded by numerous birds perched high in the trees. To Brody and Baxter’s delight, (or should I say dislike) there were squirrels scampering everywhere.
I took the opportunity during our walk to inhale as deeply as I could to take in this perfect moment when all seemed right with the world. I pulled out my camera to capture the serene scene so I could share it with you.
Anne Frank wrote in ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’,
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
So grab your family, a friend, a book, a fishing pole, a canoe, a picnic, a blanket, a dog or two, or whatever means a lot to you, and head out to Jefferson Springs Recreation Area. If you start humming the Eagles song, “Peaceful, Easy Feeling” once you arrive, you can blame it on me.