I really enjoy it when a photo brings up such a vivid memory. The field of little yellow flowers was alive with the humming of millions of bees. The warm humid air was filled with the magical fragrance of wild mints. I followed the bees from flower to flower while enjoying the occasional butterfly floating around in the warm breeze. I lost track of time in this place. I spent a few hours just absorbing the peace and presence of God.
The Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park in West Virginia is one of our most popular places. It’s especially popular with artists and photographers. I think the reason why we’re so atracted to it. The mill harkens us back to a simpler time when life was more organic. The days when water and horses powered our technology. This allowed for a life that was less micro managed. There was time for friends and family to meet beside a steam and enjoy life. Small stones accumulated in a pool near the bank hold an entire world of colors and shapes. Insects and crayfish dart around in the pool like waterborne fairies performing a dance. This is what real life is.
The mill is still in operation certain times of the year. We have friends who still take grain to the mill and grind it flour. Home baked bread from home raised grain has a smell and a flavor not found in the bleached out over processed chunks of starchy foam that comes in a plastic bag. Real bread is a wonderful experience.
Today the subject of automation is discussed at length. There are doubts and fears as well as hopes and dreams. I look at the image here that represents the automation of the past and I’m reminded that before the mill all that flour had to be ground by hand. There would have been no time for observation of life in the water. No time for pleasant conversations about life. I have hope that automation of the future will provide the same benefits if we are wise with it’s use.
If you’re interested in visiting the Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park in West Virginia you might want to check out the link below.
This Jeep was parked in this very spot when I was a kid. It’s one of several old Willie’s Jeeps that the landowner has. In my imagination I can see young soldiers crossing the battlefield in this jeep. I imagine the stories of home that are exchanged. The men are hopeful because the war is over and they are returning home. I imagine that when the jeep is sold as surplus it falls into hands of someone who puts his heart and soul into making it roadworthy again. I can see him exit the highway on a whim to explore some mountain trail. He and his jeep are a good match. They are both rugged and free spirited. Not to bound down by the well traveled highway which goes only to and fro but not out. I imagine the fishing and camping trips with friends and laughter they enjoyed. The jeep started out with a mission to bring people home. Now with it’s mission accomplished it was time to rest. It made one last trip. It’s last escape from the pavement on the edge of the home it came back to. There it could stay parked and enjoy the peace.