BEING OUTSIDE—REFLECTING INWARD
Meeting God Outdoors: Fairhaven Park & Labyrinth
“On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wonderous works, I will meditate.” -- Psalm 145:5
Are you wanting to add a spiritual practice to your Advent Season? To find scared spaces to ground you during this time of waiting, hoping, and expecting that is the Advent Season?
Are you wishing to escape the COVID Blues, wander not too far from home, yet be able to stretch your legs, breathe fresh air, and practice social distancing?
We’ve called upon two long-time FCCB members and outdoor enthusiasts, Herb and Marion Brown, to recommend places where our congregants might seek and find remarkable settings for experiencing God’s wonderous creations. We suggest that these places might be ones where you might stop, breathe deeply, then pause for a few intentional minutes of introspection, prayer, and/or meditation.
This week we invite you to visit: FAIRHAVEN PARK AND LABRYINTH
Fairhaven Park (107 Chuckanut Dr. N) has lots to recommend it. As far as we know it has the only outdoor labyrinth in the area. We are so lucky that we can walk the brick labyrinth and meditate in a wonderful green natural setting. You can breathe in the fresh air. The labyrinth is on a knoll at the far end of the park, just north of a shelter.
Padden Creek winds through Fairhaven Park. It drains Lake Padden for about 2.7 miles before emptying into Bellingham Bay. There are trails that follow it that can be accessed from several points. If you have access to the Internet, please look below for the links to Bellingham City’s maps of the park, it’s trails, and the identity of the trees that are there.
Be sure to look carefully in the Padden Creek for fish (depending on the time of year you might see salmon) and trout. The City of Bellingham Public Works Department notes, “Each of the salmon species have their own spawning schedules. So far this year [last year?], we observed a few pink salmon in August and early September, twenty-one Chinook salmon in September, four coho salmon in early November, and forty-nine chum in late November/early December.”
But also, look up! We once saw a Barred Owl watching us from a fairly low branch of a Douglas Fir near the creek. It was not at all concerned about us, and it allowed us to take a number of memorable pictures with it. Also, while sitting quietly enjoying the solitude one day, Herb once saw a falcon attack a robin, feathers flew in all directions, and off the falcon went with the robin. Within 5 minutes the starlings returned and started looking for worms again, paying no attention to the feathers that remained of the robin. Of course, this is not a common experience, but it is always good to be still and watch and listen for the birds that surround us. Enjoy!
The first land that was donated toward this park was in 1906. Aren't we fortunate that people wanted to set aside land for parks! A short history of the park is included in the first link below.