Tomahawk Creek Greenway: A Place Made for Us

Posted: April 19, 2012

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The spring of the year!  What a glorious time.  And, for those of us who live in Johnson County, KS, the spring of 2012 has been simply fabulous!  So fabulous, that if we do not pause and experience it in some sense of solitude and serenity, it will quickly dissipate into the tablets of our memories.  The question then becomes, do we have the internal discipline to carve out some time to enjoy this priceless gift of nature?  Do we make the commitment to devote purposeful time, either with family and friends, or even by one’s self to get outside for exercise, education, meditation, relaxation, friendly bonding or all of the above?

I have made such a commitment several times in the past three weeks.  My most recent staycation hike was just minutes from my home on the Tomahawk Creek Greenway.  I entered the hiking/biking trail system just north of 127th Street and Nall in Overland Park.  It was a beautiful crisp morning encased in a perfectly blue and cloudless sky.  To choose a southerly route or northerly trip was the most difficult task.  On this day I chose to saunter north.  And, I can guarantee that I would have had a most similar glorious experience had I chosen the southern option.  While human sighting was limited at this time and place, it was most gratifying to observe facial expressions of peace and happiness, just like mine, as we met on the trail.  When I purposefully paused several times along the greenway, I could not help but be most grateful for nature’s concert of splendid sounds.  And, if my pause was lengthy and quiet enough, I was quickly entertained by a variety of nature’s creatures.  What a wonderful gift!  What a rewarding experience!  I am pleased that I remembered to take pen and paper along as the magic of thought flowed abundantly through my imagination (an imagination by the way, which is quite limited in the hurriedness of a normal work day). I was reminded several times, on this morning, of the great lines of Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959):

God Made This Day for Me
“…This is jes’ my style o’ weather – sunshine floodin’ all the place,
An’ the breezes from the eastward blowin’ gently on my face;
An’ the woods chock full o’ singin’ till you’d think birds never had
A single care to fret ‘em or a grief to make ‘em sad.
Oh, I settle down contented in the shadow of a tree,
An’ tell myself right proudly that the day was made for me…”

Well, the days and this place are made for us.  If only we would slow down our hectic pace from time to time and simply enjoy it.  We have come to believe that vacations away from home are for all the items I mentioned in my opening lines.  However, they are right in our own back yards for us to find.  A staycation in Johnson County you might question.  However, try it once and I am certain you will repeat the experience on our many miles of hiking/biking trails.  Learn more these opportunities on our hiking/biking webpage or the Johnson County Park & Recreation District. And remember, the days are made for you.

~Jerry