At first the silence in the vale seemed only broken by the few birds perched high in the canopy, and then by my own footsteps on the road surface, but then ultimately it was my own breathing I heard until I reached a point where the ripples in Wildcat Creek drowned out the other incidental noises I had become aware of. As I approached the old covered bridge the smell of aged timbers wafted through the air. I walked slowly across the bridge to absorb both the history and scenic vistas offered through its portals. The floor boards, even under my light steps, creaked appropriately to inform me of my surroundings.
I reached the other side and didn't delay in snapping a few shots of what I thought would be clever perspectives, but knowing I could never capture the essence of what I was experiencing. My stride was quicker on the way back across and this time a motorist met me at the other side. The driver, an older lady with both hands on the wheel, smiled and nodded as if to say "I get it-I know why you're here".
I eased my way down the embankment to the edge of Wildcat Creek and began to walk its semi-sandy, slightly mushy edge guarded by massive sycamore trees whose gnarled roots held back the soil in drifts washed over by the rise and fall of creek waters. I turned toward the covered bridge again, snapped a few shots, and then climbed back up to the road. And again, my stride was quicker as I began to round the bend of the road and the mill came back into view.......and then almost instinctively I slowed again as I noticed the sycamores roadside whose large branches stretched out above me. Their ghostlike white arms and distinctive aroma halted me in my tracks.
And I said aloud, though so perfectly alone, "I'm never more at home in Indiana than when I can hear the gentle churning of a creek and be shaded beneath the great outstretched arms of a sycamore tree." And then like flood waters against my very soul, I was overwhelmed by a rush of memories that flooded my mind, some taking me back to my childhood, and I have to admit becoming a little misty-eyed to feel so blessed.
What is it that makes you feel at home in Indiana?
Visit Adams Mill for yourself: www.adams-mill.org