For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 10:11 (NIV)
Lately, by the time Sunday afternoon rolls abound, husband and I are so tired we define the phrase “couch potatoes.” He heads to the bedroom to watch television with his eyes closed while I pick up a book or the computer and sit in the living room. The last two weekends, I even took a nap. Unheard of! All the energy has been sucked right out of me. Just a few months ago, I would have been working in the garage on some glass, or felting or sewing in the house. Now, it is all I can do to stay awake. Layoffs began again at work last week. No one in my departments will be affected, but it is still stressful when people you have known for years lose their jobs, are forced to take early retirement or transfer to a lower paying position. I know someone in planning who is now doing bill collections for the utilities department. Libraries, parks and recreation, building maintenance and transit all took the hit this year. While I am safe, it always leaves me on edge. Next year, will it be me? In uncharacteristic fashion, this Sunday, my husband made arrangements for some of his family to come down and go bike riding at one of our county’s newest parks, Robinson Preserve. This 487-acre preserve was once farmland. Over time, exotic plants took hold there, and the wetlands were drained. A plan to turn the site into a golf course and condominium project was halted when influential neighbors approached the land’s owner and asked him if he would be willing to sell it to the county for a park. Turns out, he was willing, and Robinson Preserve was born. In those days, the county was flush with property tax and impact fee funds and contrary to what may happen in other places, our Board of County Commission spent that money wisely acquiring thousands of acres of land in environmentally sensitive areas like watersheds and wetlands. Today, Robinson Preserve has miles of bike, hiking and paddling trails as well as an observation tower. A historic home moved by barge to the park is lavishly restored. Last week, the team of scientists and bureaucrats authorized to plan for the impact of the Gulf oil spill ranked Robinson Preserve as the most important area to be protected on our coast. Our visit was my first time to see the park since its official opening last month, and though they still have work to do in reclaiming the land, I was impressed by all the amenities and how beautiful it is. We biked for about six miles on trails made of asphalt, shell and wooden boardwalks that took us over streams, through mangrove “tunnels, and along the shoreline. While upon our arrival, I felt like one of the thousands of fiddler crabs that inhabit the park, scuttling along, waving my claw in frustration at my lot in life, when I left, I was rested and at peace.