They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Unfortunately, this picture doesn’t do justice to this incredible scene in my new happy place. It’s called Metahqua Nature Preserve and it’s part of the Ross County Park District near Chillicothe, Ohio.
At more than 230 acres of hardwood, wetland and tall grass fields in the flood plain of Little Walnut Creek, it is peaceful and beautiful. A century old one room schoolhouse has been smartly converted to a quaint caretaker’s residence.
The happy place that I refer to is a pond high atop a hill. It’s surrounded by trees which, I’m told, provide a breathtaking setting in the fall. Dusk was approaching but those trees reflected into the water a scene so serene that it was almost mesmerizing. The call of frogs and various birds made it even better.
I was there with a kindred spirit, the man responsible for a sandstone patio with two benches to sit and enjoy the view. He said that if he accomplishes nothing else in his lifetime, knowing that this place exists, because he made it happen, is enough.
I felt that to my soul as I sat there absorbed in my surroundings and enjoying the beauty of that waning day. My heart rate went down and my mind was completely calm.
I was at peace.
Spending time in nature is good for your health. Getting outdoors and moving is good for your body but sometimes I think the mental health benefits are far greater. There’s nothing better than fresh air, bird song and the peace that comes from simply existing amongst beauty.
I hope to return another time and especially would love to see that fall foliage someday. Want to learn more? Visit their website to learn the Shawnee meaning of Metahqua, learn about the wildlife, find directions and more.