Sunday, Jim and I drove to Otter Creek Bend, near St. Charles. It’s a scrap of land with a creek of green, rapidly flowing water, its banks overshaded by willow trees. The marsh is dried up this time of year, with only the swathes of willows and cattails testifying to its earlier presence this spring. We’ve never see any otters here at Otter Creek Bend, but it does look like an otter theme park, what with the picturesque creek.
When we arrived, we were confronted with the sheer silence of the place. I found myself feeling, rather than hearing, the silence, it was that profound, though as my ears adjusted, I could hear the sound of soft grasses in the wind, and of the flicking sounds of the grasshoppers in our path. Whether it was the quietness, the sunny warmth, the softness of the path we walked, I don’t know, but I felt something in me healing, and it was startling, because I didn’t know I was sick. But to lurch from our crazy world into this profoundly graceful place as the birds, the grasshoppers, and the frogs took care of their domestic chores unaware of our existence, was to know peace. Worry lifted off my shoulders and flew away like an enormous dark bird. Anyway, the winds, the sun, and the land were changeless, so worrying wouldn’t change a thing. We walked, enjoying the fields covered with prairie sunflowers and velvety goldenrod in full bloom. Some shimmering cottonwood trees graced the picture. And as we walked I thought about the ache in my heart that I hadn’t known was there and that was fading away as we continued along the path, and I have been thinking about Otter Creek Bend for much of this past day.
Otter Creek Bend Wetland Park is in St. Charles on Crane Road between Bolcum and Silver Glen Road.