Saturday, December 6, 2014

Letting Go

We are pretty attached to our state park home, despite all of its shortcomings.

Perched high up on our ridge, we've always felt a certain amount of safety - assurance that the land around us would never change.

Unfortunately, that's not really the case.

The park property line happens to run right behind our house. This is is where private property begins. The view we look on out back is a 168 acre tract owned by a handful of developers.

They've been trying to sell it for years, for a ridiculous amount of money. Even though there are a few distant lake views up on the ridges, it really doesn't have much going for it. At least not for the purpose of development.

One of my favorite sunrise photos taken from our back porch. 
What it does have, however, is the right components for Cerulean Warbler breeding habitat. It has been documented by biologists as a nesting hot spot, with more breeding birds in the summer than anywhere else around.

It's not just Ceruleans that love it, however. The music drifting from that valley in the spring is a rich cacophony of bird song. The steep drop behind our house means that we are practically looking straight into the tree tops, giving us a good view of migrating birds that like to stay in the canopy (like Cerulean Warblers).

With this in mind, several years ago Mark made a proposal for the Land Acquisition Fund, to see if the state would purchase the property, incorporating it into the state park. His presentation scored higher than any other before him. It was looking very good. We were elated.

The Land Acquisition department was tied up in acquiring Cummins Falls, at the time, which was certainly a worthy endeavor.

In the meantime, the election was at hand, and with a new Administration, came new guidelines for land acquisition proposals. The result was that Mark's presentation now scored much lower, making it a low priority.

It was recently re-visited, however, and the state began making steps to purchase it.

Another winter sunrise
Apparently the property is owned by three different individuals. Two out of those three were more than willing to sell it to the state. One was even ready to donate it, just to get it off his hands.

The third who - suffice it to say, is a bitter old codger - dug in his heels and refused to part with it for fair market value.

Instead, in an effort to squeeze every last dime from this piece of land, he decided to log it.

And so, for the last several months we've been listening to the whine of the chainsaw, the popping of timber, and the sickening thud of the giant trees falling to the earth.

Mark and Ian watch the loggers at work

With every crash, we feel our hearts sinking.

While I understand that logging isn't the end of the world, it is still saddening. We know that the Ceruleans will not be back next year. Do they have anywhere else to nest? We aren't sure.

In the meantime, all of the activity is really disturbing the soil. These steep valleys are highly unstable as it is, and the logging roads and machinery are doing irreparable damage, I fear.

There is still a chance that the state will get the property, after the logging is complete. So we would then have the task of restoring it.

While this whole situation is sad and frustrating, I feel that it is serving another purpose:

... helping us to let go.

We LOVE our home in the park. The house pretty much sucks, but the PLACE is amazing. We look around us and get to see sights that very few people get to enjoy on a day to day basis.

We knew that we would have to move off the park some day. We also knew that it would be difficult to leave it behind. All of the recent changes in parks: having to pay rent and utilities, for one thing, have kind of made park living lose its luster.

I always knew in my heart, that if the land behind us was ever sold and developed, I wouldn't have the heart to live here anymore.

Now that we, hopefully, have another place to move to, it's easier to let go of this one. Not to say that tears won't be shed, or that we won't sit and long for our park life again, at times. 

Mark and his dogs in 2006, the year we met

But we have so much to look forward to: a house to make our own, land to shape, and a future to build.

Letting go of things gives you the opportunity to embrace something else:



  1. Such a beautiful post. We know a little about letting go, and hope, and faith in God. Remembering that we have to simply enjoy and be thankful for the things that were, while never losing sight of the things that are, and being very aware that it's all God's to do with what He will anyway......

    1. Thank you. Change is always an opportunity to depend on Him more, isn't it? :)

  2. I agree- developing wooded land like that breaks my heart. I am so glad you will have your own place soon to make your safe haven from the craziness of the world around us. Happy Sunday!

  3. I found your blog from Hendricks Hearth :)

    It makes me happy to see that others care so much about the land. You live in a beautiful area.