1. A Natural Hammock
The site of an everlasting treasure, ecological.
Sustained by rain from the sky and the rays of the sun, appealing to the psychological.
Various trees descending along the Springs in a beautiful natural arrangement of leaves and branches.
Walking through on a beautiful spring day, the wind and the trees engaging in cosmically arranged dances.
A mixture of tropical and hardwood trees on a hilly barrier to the water of the Spring.
In the canopy birds rest and wait until the wind is right and they once again take wing.
Thick set trees form a natural camoflouge good enough to hide a panther.
Waiting and watching unknown, untouchable, with eyes of amber.
A timid white tail deer walks carefully on the hill above the Spring.
She has hidden her fawn, carefully in the brush and trees, she listens intently as the many birds sing.
Picture perfect setting, ecological. Picture perfect mindset the effect is psychological.
Spending the day there I imagine spreading a hammock between the trees to sway in the breeze and smell the scents of the forest, not to disturb but to reflect and meditate on the music of the branches played by the wind.
Composing lyrics and creating the rhythm on the palm of relaxing hands and then letting the sound fade as my hammock sways in time.
The sun comes down in beams through the leafy canopy just enough to be comfortable and all around the sounds continue and become one with my relaxing breath until the sun sets.
2. The Thursby House
The house at Blue Spring Landing,
Built in 1872 atop a Native American midden,
Now stands in the shadow of an old oak that keeps it partially hidden.
Once the home of Luis Thursby,
Nearby a steamboat landing, once surrounded by an orange grove.
A stopping point for steam boats shipping goods to the north,
The grand house was heated by the fire of a wood burning stove.
The timber of its frame, constructed in 1872, were cut from three kinds of pine shipped south from Savanah.
A third story added some thirty years later, now these boards are a distinctive form of Americana.
Three white rocking chairs on the front porch.
Moving slightly from a gentle March breeze.
Maybe the once proud owners of that house are there in spirit and sitting on that porch for an afternoon of relaxation, looking over orange groves or waiting for a boat to arrive.
Only now they share their once thriving grove with visitors from all over and they stand and look through windows engaging in a voyeuristic curiosity as the boards creak underneath their feet.
3. Three Rocking Chairs
On the porch of the Thursby House there are three rocking chairs.
Visitors sit and pass the time on lazy afternoons after stepping up the short set of stairs.
These modern visitors are inclined to browse and take photos of the surrounding place.
Maybe in the windows they can see their own reflected face.
Or maybe sitting and rocking slowly on the old porch and once relaxed they begin to contemple.
Trying to connect last and present in an effort to communicate.
Connect with some long ago scene, from an era long gone, but on some similiar, windy afternoon.
Perhaps the builder of this house sat and thought about fleeting life and freinds gone to fast?
Now we think of taking photographs, a kind of permanent autograph.
A way to pass a windy afternoon, covered porch, cooling sun kissed skin.
Or a place to wait out a rainstorm that suddenly appears on the horizon?
The welcoming chairs,
that away in the gentle breeze or that comfort in the violence of the storm.
Rocking in time to the swaying wind and the voices that carry from then to now.
4. Blue Spring Landing
I have never been there at sunrise but I have seen the landing at sunset.
They sun’s colors out over the calm water, dark, deep full of its own secrets and ways.
This is a place to come to when the days become to much, when the mind needs to forget, or to remember the persistent passage of time and all the changes brought on by progress.
Like when steamboats once docked here and sent passengers and cargo to the dock, some for business and others just for pleasure.
Maybe from some northerrn, frozen place landing here to watch the sunset over the same water my eyes were once so fixed upon.
A tourist from another era,
exploring this then untouched place, observing the graceful egret or a bird of prey taking off from a free by the river.
If such scenes could be set side by side and examined I imagine there would be much to be considered alike.
Me the northern transplant seeking to unwind at the number nd of a long day and some other visitor from a northern port stepping off the boat and feeling ready to unwind watching a sunset portrait presented generations apart.
We are one in this instant separated only by time.
The landing remains constant.
5. The Great Freeze
Thursby planted the land around Blue Springs with large orange groves.
Ben using the river he went crates full North in droves.
The location was a perfect blend of sun warmth and soil.
The oranges grew on magnificent trees and he waited till harvest came, the time of his greatest toil.
His groves produced one million boxes of fruit in a good seson.
When the freeze came it struck down all, no rhyme, no reaeon.
There were two periods of freeze that year.
They first in 1894 the second in 1895.
They first did not kill many mature trees and th warm month that followed set up retro th and a time to thrive.
In the second wave of ice and freeze February brought an icy wind and freezing temperatures that destroyed those once thriving trees.
Trees and futures split in half.
Madness descended from this sky and took away the groves.
Near my house the train tracks run across the wooded edge of the Western Highlands.
I never see them but I here them rumbling along the tracks.
Whistles blowing and breaking the silence of the night; the positive silence of Blue Springs and scaring the deer that stopped to drink or the bear roaming the night.
I wonder if the old windows on Thursby’s house rattle and shake as the enormous line of cars roll by?
It most certainly disturbed my peace for a moment but the tranquility of this Springs has been changed forever.
Probably like that night more than a century ago when all of Thursby’s trees were frozen to the core, broken in half by the weight of ice and frozen fruit.
That wind that brought the cold soon disappeared but his fortunes changed completely.
Now the boats at landing will not pick up oranges to bring them north but they bring tourists south, they come for the c!imate, not the fruit.
Today the boats carrying tourists are replaced by trains.
The Great Freeze changed everything then and now.
Some change is natural, some the result of progress, some are inexplicable – supernatural leaving us breathless!
The world turns on its axis, dependable and comstant, until the norm becomes upset and change is coded upon us – when we are pushed to new wisdom by the awful grace of God.