From vacation to South Florida and the Keys.
For years now, I had pulled into the parking lot at Lake Lily for a range of different experiences. Sometimes, it was checking out the Sunday morning farmer’s market. Other times, it was hanging out with a good friend or date for conversation. Yet others, it was repeatedly lapping the half mile loop for exercise.
Despite being off I-4 and state road 1792, I was still able to find quiet moments in thought. Stringing all these moments together was nature. Somehow, the park’s charm was the ability in subverting urban civilization.
Perhaps, it was the gratifying connection of feeding the ducks, squirrels or turtles. This action had always brought adults and children degrees of satisfaction.
In passing, a fellow co-worker had mentioned this being one of his favorite spots in Orlando. With sun shimmering on the lake and the animals congregating about, I had continued to understand why.
Lake Lily Park is located at 701 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland, Florida 32751.
Hours: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM (daily)
Admission: Open to the public
Maitland’s Farmer’s Market (itsmymaitland.com)
Two weeks after surgery, I had discovered an ever increasing desire to wonder around Central Florida. With a little help from my friends, I had tempered this flame with standard fare from walking at Lake Lily Park to Lake Eola; however, that was just the start. Hitting the road yesterday to Canaveral National Seashore, I had wrapped up the weekend back in the heart of Central Florida with swimming at Wekiva Springs State Park.
The latter two outings were less than ideal with chilling coastal winds to cloudy waters of an over populated springhead. The importance of the walking and swimming this weekend was an affirmation of a healthy recovery. In some sense, I was grateful in earning back more mobility. Though, in the back of my psyche, I had recalled dialing down my fervor a few notches. It wasn’t like I was playing with snakes seeking atonement, rather simple solace. This notion sometimes had seemed easier stated than done with an elderly lady power walking right by you as an adult male.
Recovery from surgery for anyone, was a measure of equal parts physical healing and mental attitude. With possibility of pain and discomfort acquiescing to a “pity party” was the lost opportunity in focusing a return to some sense of normalcy. Before surgery, I had blogged for folks to make the most of their day. Today, for those with a recent procedure(s), I had thought the same rule applies. I hadn’t needed to beat grandma, just redirect that intensity elsewhere. I had dared you to do the same no matter your circumstance, just live it up!
Wekiva Springs State Park (Florida State Park)
On the mend from surgery, I had opted for a returning drive up to Lake Lily Park @ Maitland, Florida. Over the past year, I had ventured across most of the state of Florida. Most destinations had offered a greater degree of seclusion and natural brilliance than this city park; however, on this Monday, I had only wanted to escape the confines of my bed. The goal for the day was asserting my mental independence over physical disrepair.
Heading out at noon, my vehicle had voyaged into Lake Lily’s parking lot. Exiting my Explorer, I had gingerly moved toward the perimeter of sidewalk wrapping around the lake. After making one lap around Lake Lily, I had stopped because of lack of hydration in the noon time sun. That notwithstanding, I had achieved a very rudimentary goal with pretense of another return.
On the following Tuesday, I had committed to hitting an hour walk. With some discomfort but, an increasing tempo of footsteps, I had achieved my target time. Putting aside the rehabilitation of my body, I had also encountered a multitude of underappreciated views. Perhaps being less mobile than normal, I had enjoyed the passing sights of squirrels, turtles, fish and ducks. I was also reminded in even such limited liberation, the solace of the mind nature brings.
I hadn’t decided where my next walk will be but, glad to reacquaint myself with local favorite in Central Florida. It was more than a return to a physical location but, one of solace.
Lake Lily Park is located @ 701 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland, FL 32751.
Hours: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Farmers Market is held on Sunday mornings.
“There is nothing more beautiful than a tree.” – Joyce Kilmer
Moving onto the paved trail known as the West Orange Trail from the Apopka-Vineland Outpost, I had pondered the similarities between people and trees. Each respective organism had embodied the potential to bloom into a beautiful dynamic sight. With both organisms, each had matured under the seasons and the sun. Each were also equally vulnerable to any neglect or harsh environmental conditions.
With my second trip out to the West Orlando Trail at the Apopka-Vineland Outpost in as many years, I had picked up a friend for an afternoon walk. Approaching the parking for the trail, I had taken a wrong turn going up a gravel side road. For a few moments, I had thought a perched O.P.D. vehicle would peel me off for a moving violation. Luckily, just a quick U-turn had redirected my vehicle into the proper parking area without earning a ticket.
With a few years passing by since our last conversation, my friend was ecstatic about voyaging out into the green overhang up this 22 mile trail. Walking through the cool breeze of Monday afternoon, he had talked with jubilation about getting a fresh start after losing his job and a long term relationship. By his own admission, some of his recent “bad luck” were just bad choices.
Making our way up the paved walkway, we had seen open fields of golden bushes and palmettos. Behind those fields had laid the pale blue sky with the fading sun and a scattering of cirrus clouds. This backdrop was a calming contrast to my friend’s recent troubles. Continuing our conversation, we had whimsically shifted to nature of personal etiquette, growing older, and relationships. With all those subjects, we had both evolved from personal experience.
In our different journeys, we had struggled to find the answer to the question, “Do you know who you are?” To that question, I had responded recently to a friend “Yes!” In my mind, I had thought, “What’s inside me? A part of the American mythology, freewill.” For each person, we had the opportunity to manifest our own destiny and leave the world in our wake. For each of us, we had roots, limbs and leaves for baring our soul.
West Orange Trail (Trailink)