I have been wanting to see the Ice Falls at Starved Rock State Park for about nine years now. It took me a really bad day and an uncle dying (who I never got a chance to know) to get there. To my Uncle Frank in Connecticut, I wish you and your’s peace and that I had had the chance to know you.
What have you been putting off?
What a beautiful day it was. Starved Rock is about an hour and forty minutes drive from here. When you don’t have kids whining, yelling and screaming, even that was really enjoyable. It has been so long since I had that feeling of highway underneath and just going somewhere with my music on, enjoying.
At the visitor’s center, they will show you the best canyons to go see. If you hurry, you still have time to see the beautiful ice falls.
I went to Ottawa Canyon which is the farthest east on 71. There are a couple of parking lots, and it is an easy walk back through the canyons.
When I parked, I saw an eagle flying above. They are all over as they nest here in the winter.
The highlight of my trip was sitting on a fallen log and playing “Chidananda” on my Ipod while I watched the falling leaves, listened to the water and felt the sun shine down. If you have never gone through a long winter up north, you do not realize how lovely it is that first time that you are able to sit outside.
“Chidananda” is a song in Sanskrit (ancient spiritual Hindu language) reminding you to find your divinity: the place deep within your soul that is not all of your problems – your struggling marriage, your complaining children, your lacking checkbook, your ailing body – but the part deep within you that is Shiva – Eternal Bliss.
This sounds a lot better in Sanskrit than it would in English. In English, I would feel really foolish hearing, ‘I am not speech, hands, feet nor the rectum’, but somehow it seems to work in Sanskrit.
Reminds me of Nina Simone’s Song “Ain’t Got No”. When I was a down and out struggling single mother, I used to listen to this song.
In it, Nina sings about all the things she does not have: home, shoes, money, class, skirts, sweaters, faith. This would make me feel better as I still had some of the former. Then she sings about what she does have: hair, head, brains, ears, boobs (always made my kids smile at that part of course).
‘I’ve got life, I’m gonna keep it’
While you have life, keep it.
See “Chidananda” lyrics and song here
‘Ain’t Got No’ Remix by Nina Simone.