Jersey moment of Zen… (and fossil digging)

Jersey moment of Zen… (and fossil digging)

My home state gets a bad rap, ok, some of it IS warranted (we have more superfund sites  than any other state and considering the size of the state that is embarrassing), but, but… BUT I tell you, there are gems here, one of which is Big Brook Park which goes across parts of Monmouth County (which has a rich history itself), Big Brook is one of the few (rare) places in the entire country where you can openly dig for fossils (and it is a rich trove at that), personally I habit the Colts Neck section, NJ horse country… yes, you read that correctly, NJ has a horse country section, tons of farms, all of twenty to thirty minutes from the more urban areas like Newark, how odd to be able to hop in your car for 15 minutes and feel like you are in the middle of nowhere… that is where this video is, a park nestled in the backyards of a very affluent area actually, the reeds are a playground for the local deer, and there is just something about the sound of the wind on the reeds section, an instant recognizable sound, one you just want to close your eyes and let your ears bathe in, like the wind brushing the earth’s hair, all this surrounded by the various trappings of New Jersey, a special place, and yes, I always find some interesting things back there… 

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If anyone is interested or in my general area I will gladly give you directions and tips, I see more families down there this year, a great place for kids to explore and learn, and the cost? free… how does that grab you.  I have met plenty of people in my travels there from Delaware to Pennsylvania,  it is worth the drive if you plan it out.

Red Mill, historic site, Paramus NJ

Red Mill, historic site, Paramus NJ

road nature trees branches
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I made a pact with myself, when I started this blog, that my goal was honesty and personal growth, part of that movement in the nation me is to actively notice things that I see everyday and check them out (instead of passively passing them by), essentially we should see beauty every chance we get, and I also think history is beautiful, there are ugly moments, sure, but history is a vehicle in which we can gain experience without having to live through something ourselves… and learn.  Even in a country as new as this (in the scheme of thing’s america is very new) we have plenty of history, especially here in new jersey.  So saturday I decided to check out this place I have driven by hundreds of times…

I have mixed feelings about the place, I like that it is a little enclave in the middle of major roads (Route 4, 208, rt 80 is not too far), there is a nice path from the lot through the park (it splits, I only went left this time), it is interesting that the park literally is in people’s backyards when you are walking, some owners have gates that open to the park, others, well, their fences seem less comfortable if you get my drift, unfortunately the nakedness of the winter reveals the debris and litter of humanity, is it overwhelming ? no, but certainly noticeable, I picked up a few pieces as I always do, but this place is in serious need of a dedicated patrol to pick up the flotsam, a little effort goes a long way, I guess this is the paramus river, I should google it but I don’t feel like it, the roar of the tiny rapids does pose some nice sound and almost (almost) drowns out the car traffic buzzing about and over, I shall check this out further in the future… it did not inspire a thought on the spot, but upon reflection tonight I wrote this (first draft just for this post):

upon red mill
the common ground now a park
with visions before the founding
now nestled between highways and routes
older than the country still
may outlast the bustle ’bout
and shared the land with history books
for washington surely crossed this little nook
and burr in yuletide of times sure partook
certainly before his career paced north to new york
and even lafayette on his farewell tour
did endure to pass these grounds
and now casual walkers, bikers and pavement encircle
the visitors of note leave their bags and baubles
but I might imagine the red mill will grist for it’s own will
and endure on beyond more generations

I posted a couple of quick vids on my youtube account as well to give you a feel.so, that promise I made to myself… maybe I honored it here, but I am still struggling to be ‘it’ all the time, there are plenty of times I don’t stop and admire… or do the right thing, I’m working on it, so should you, we are barely here in the scheme of things, I know it so easy to say that, I know, I am just a guy and I do not live up to my own standards, but I am trying, I want everyone to give effort, and make this world better, step by step.