I was itching to go to St. Edward State Park after I heard about my friends’ Linda and Steve’s visit there. St. Edward State Park started out in 1931 as a Catholic Seminary. I had been to this park a number of times in the past with my neighbor, Donni, to swim at the Olympic sized now-closed-down indoor pool on the property. Donni and I always went in the evenings and we went straight to the pool to swim laps. It was always winter and dark out, so we never got around to walking the park. I am so glad Rick and I went last Thursday.
St. Edward State Park is a gorgeous wooded urban park right on Lake Washington in Kenmore. It is a very serene place with great trails, some easy ones and some with more challenging hill climbs. It is hard to believe that all of Lake Washington used to be surrounded by such lush dense forests. The park encompasses 3000 feet of shoreline. Except for the trails cut out long ago by the young seminarians, the forest here remains as pristine as it was hundreds of years ago. I walked and marveled at the huge Douglas firs, Western hemlocks, and Western red cedars.
We enjoyed a warmish overcast day. Actually, the muted gray light added to the beauty of the photos I took at the park! Below are a few more photos I took, followed by a poem in which Mary Oliver speaks of her love of nature and of how nature teaches us about what really matters in life. This poem and Mary Oliver’s manner of observation really speak to me, especially after my visit to St. Edward State Park.
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.
~ Mary Oliver ~