Fall is finally here! The leaves are turning colors and it is cooler temperatures.
It is a good time to get outside and explore what Missouri has to offer in nature.
I found yet another Missouri treasure while driving along a county road in Madison County near Ironton, Mo.
I noticed a beautiful creek that was flowing along with me on the left side of the gravel road. I decided to stop and see what this creek looked like up close.
It is called Rock Creek. It was a small creek but had lots of life around it. I noticed beautiful sycamore trees, grass, and other plants were living around this creek.
The leaves from the trees had gently fallen onto the rocks, the banks and some across the water. I saw several flying insects, including dragonflies, were landing on these leaves and walking across them to the other side.
There were minnows swimming in the water below. Little frogs and crickets were communicating to each other.
As people daily drive by on this county road, I wonder if they ever thought about how much life they were passing by in that moment.
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A lot of us drive by small ecosystems like this and have our mind on work, family or life issues we deal with daily.
But I believe if a person, during their daily drive or walk, would just stop for a few minutes and enjoy the nature around them, their lives would be enriched.
There is peace in stillness around nature. A peace that only God has given us. It is our choice to stop and “smell the roses,” so to speak.
Our choice just to stop even for a moment, and realize we are not the only life out here. We are not alone. We are surrounded by life that lives in the forest, in rivers, lakes and in little creeks as this one.
Even a mud hole has life in it, if you stop and be still long enough.
I am glad I decided to stop for a few minutes along this road. I found peace in all the life living together in this little creek along the road.
It was a great reminder that I am not alone. There are a lot of reminders all over Missouri just waiting for you and I to stop and be still.
Will you stop?
(Dana Sturgeon lives in southern Missouri. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)