I had no plan today for the Sunshine Project. No idea at all of where to leave the sunshine. It didn’t bother me, though. I felt something would occur to me. I decided to go to Lorimer Park and take a walk and maybe I’d pass a place that suited the day. And if not, well, then I would think of something. I’ve learned that the Sunshine Project progresses at its own pace. When the right way to handle the day comes along, things feel settled. I need a sign, I thought.
I drove to the park in the bright sunshine under a clear blue sky. It was cold, in the twenties, and I was out pretty early, around 8:30 AM. I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful morning because the weather forecast for the next few days calls for snow or rain.
I decided to take my camera and the sunshine along with me on my walk in case I happened upon a good spot. I started out from the picnic area across this frost-covered field. My feet crunched on the brittle grasses. I enjoyed that sound. And as I walked, it came to me. Today would not be about the point at which the sunshine and I parted ways. It would be about the time we spent together.
I decided that I would chronicle the things that caught my attention. I would not look for anything in particular, but if I felt that little spark, I’d stop for a picture. And I would not take a pre-determined route but would just wander along for a while.
This place was my first stop. I liked the look of this V-shaped dam/waterfall created by a fallen log.
In the winter the undergrowth is non-existent and I could see through the trees to the top of the hill. In the summer this scene is just a mass of tangled green and the feeling is enclosed, hidden. Today it all feels very open and free.
I climbed the hill to a scene that’s very familiar to me. I’ve seen it all through the year. I think it is peaceful and restful to look at no matter what the weather or season.
I leaned on the fence for a little while and watched the geese in the field. They were quiet, settled, not on the move looking for food as they usually are.
I walked on and noticed this little holly snuggled right up next to what looks like an old flowering tree of some kind. In the summer the holly would be invisible in the tall grasses.
I went closer to look at the sunlight on the delicate sharp-edged leaves. The layers of leaves and shadows were something I could see only when I was quite near and I wouldn’t have noticed them from the trail.
A jumble of fallen logs caught my attention because the broken wood was still so pale – meaning the limbs hadn’t been down too long. There was such a lot to look at in the way the wood had broken apart.
I walked on for a while and returned to the main rail trail. I came to the official end of it. But the old rail line continues for about another half mile – it connects with an active line at that point. This section hasn’t been touched, but I could see a footpath worn along the site of the former rails. In summer this area is too tangled to tackle, but now I could walk right through. So I did. A little urban exploring, I guess. I followed it almost to the current commuter rail, until there were too many fallen trees and other debris. The line ran between apartments and houses and at several points it was obvious from the litter that plenty of people knew about this place. I was surprised to see that the rails were still in place for part of the route.
I turned around and retraced my steps. As I crossed the bridge, back on the rail trail, I was intrigued by the way the sunlight and shadows from the bridge supports were creating patterns of frost melting on the floorboards.
The ground is frozen hard as concrete but we’ve had thaws and rain recently. All kinds of footprints are preserved in the surface of the trail. I had been seeing horse hoof marks all through the park. I liked the way the snow lingered in this one.
Icicles always form in this section. Water seeps out from the stones as it drains from the hill above. I stopped to listen. Behind the curtain of ice, water was running – the slow drips sounded like a leaking faucet. Very slow, very deliberate.
As I came to the end of the trail, once again I noticed the patterns in the frozen trail surface. All kinds of creatures and natural processes had left their marks.
I decided to leave the sunshine in the information stand at the beginning of this end of the trail.
As I started back to the parking lot I noticed the sign at the entrance to the park. I hadn’t looked at it when I came in. It does look like I found my sign, doesn’t it? Didn’t Old Man Winter, the sunshine, and I walk along together? I’m still shaking my head over this one.
Happy Sunshine. And thanks for taking this trip with me.
There is more about the Sunshine Project here, or you can search the category “Sunshine Project”.