1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hydrotherapy for the Soul--Time for Ichetucknee

Saturday's plans for a float trip at Ichetucknee Springs State Park nearly fell apart. The three of us--SAM, Daughter, and I--certainly needed a break from the daily routine. SAM's daytime job gets a little stressful at times. Daughter has been busy trying to build her massage practice here in Tallahassee (not an easy task in this economy). I was ready to get away from thinking about something that happened to me Friday evening. It's not something I can talk about just yet because it involves future plans. Call it superstition if you want, but talking about the future, at least here on the blog, usually gets me into hot water. So a little of the cold stuff (spring-fed river water) would be just the ticket. I consider it hydrotherapy for the soul.

Saturday morning the three of us sat around sipping our coffee and tea, trying to decide if we wanted to make the effort and the drive east and south to visit Ichetucknee. SAM reminded us that the trip would require a tight schedule. First, we'd want to check in at a hotel in Lake City on Saturday afternoon. Next, we'd go visit the High Springs downtown area, something we missed on our last visit. Then (after having secured reservations by phone on the way), we'd enjoy dinner at the Great Outdoors Restaurant in High Springs and maybe catch some live music on the patio. Finally, after (hopefully) a good night's sleep and early breakfast at the hotel, we'd be on our way to the springs for a tube float trip, arriving at the state park no later than 8 a.m. Any later than that, and you risk not being admitted. The park allows only a limited number of tubers per day because of parking space, for safety's sake, and to limit human impact on the pristine environment as much as possible. Good luck with that one!

Whew! What an agenda we were committing ourselves to. The alternative, though, was way less appealing. Stay inside all day and be bored. You really don't want to be outdoors much right now. A certain lethargy takes hold of the body and maybe the mind when the temp and percent humidity hits the 90s.
A program I watched on TV while we were waffling about our weekend plans, though, gave me just the boost of get-up-and-go that I needed (kick in the keester?). In the Heat of the Night was on one of those cable networks that feature shows from the latter half of the twentieth century. In case you're not familiar with the story, Carroll O'Connor plays Sheriff Bill Gillespie who upholds the law in a small Mississippi town called Sparta. I think the timeframe is the mid 80s when civil rights still simmered on the back burner in the South.

Sheriff Gillespie is a true Southern gentleman with a heart of gold. In this particular episode that kicked me in the keester, he takes time out of his busy schedule to visit a man in prison he had arrested for bank robbery and murder some years earlier. The man is scheduled for execution by lethal injection and wants the sheriff to be in charge of what little he has left in the world. The sheriff is puzzled as to why this man has chosen him, The Man, of all people, to handle his estate. It's simple, the elderly black man says. It's because you do what's right. The man wants the sheriff to be there the next day when the execution is to take place, and at first the peace officer declines, saying he has a busy schedule and has to immediately return to Sparta. Time. It makes prisoners of us all, doesn't it?
Long story short, the sheriff does the right thing again. At the prisoner's request, he reads a passage from the Bible, John 11: 25-26. I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die... And the next day as the man's right to life is stolen by the State (The Man?), the sheriff is there as witness, keeping eye contact with the prisoner, letting him know that someone who shares his faith cares about him. Gillespie frees himself from time's shackles.

Did we really need to go on this trip? Spend the money on fuel, food, and accommodations to free ourselves from time's shackles just to keep from being bored? It wouldn't be a noble gesture like Gillespie's, but what might come of being among other people who would submit to a tight time schedule on the weekend just to float down a cool river? It didn't take long to find out.
Before we went to dinner on Saturday evening, we decided to take advantage of the social hour at the Cabot Lodge where we were staying the night. We had been to the one in Gainesville before and enjoyed talking to strangers (imagine that!) while nibbling on snacks and sipping a glass of wine or two. This time was no different. We met a couple about our age from the Orlando area who were planning a float trip with their two grown children the next morning. There was something about the man and his wife that made conversation with them as natural as taking a dip in a cold spring on a hot day. When they sat down next to us, we were watching a news program about the heap of trouble this country/world is in right now. Who knows what's going to happen next? Funny thing, we all came to the same conclusion. The Man (of Galilee) knows. Not to worry. Pray for each other? Keep in touch? Sure.

We saw the couple with their kids the next morning, Sunday, bright and early, and wished them a safe journey down the river and home again.


  1. I to am a follower of that show and of course Carroll O'Connor. The story you tell says quite a bit about life these days. Staying at home doesn't necessarily save the country. Going out at least for dinner and supporting those who work at the lowest jobs and struggle worse than we do is in my opinion so much a step to help our country!

  2. We have played in this spring many times while we lived in Gainesville. My parents met my husband to be (we have been married now 23 years) at the Cabot Lodge there. I have fond memories of that place...

    Your trip sounded devinely wonderful, and yes...just what you needed!

  3. You're right Ciss B. I like to think of tips as my tithe and offering so I'm very generous with them. It's also important to be appreciative to someone who works hard to make a living, so I offer my thanks to the ones who don't receive tips. I'm glad someone else appreciates Carroll O'Connor. What a fine actor!

    Julie, the Lodge in Gainesville is much bigger than the one in Lake City. More to offer in the way of goodies, too. Still, we had a great time, and the conversation during social hour was one of the highlights of the trip. It's too bad that more hotels don't offer something similar.

  4. Tubing. Cool river on a hot day. Sounds good to me.

  5. I've been meaning to make it down the Itch. but I'm not going to battle those weekend redneck crowds. Going to have to be some time during the week. BTW-Could you change my link on your blog to Thanks for the link love!

  6. That looks fun and a much needed road trip. Suwannee that it flows into is at record low summer levels I just saw.

  7. Hello

    Sounds like a great trip! Your photos are all charming. I think the post title "hydrotherapy for the soul" is really nice. When my routine and jobs get boring and stressful, I always want to go near water such as rivers, lakes, seas..Don't you think water is a great healer?

  8. When every picture of the water seen full screen, the water colors are exquisitely beautiful, reflecting sky blue mingled with lush green.

    I also find it therapeutic to get first-hand close to nature. I love that; just looking at tortoises sunbathing on their stomach or water birds floating quietly gives me a peace of mind.
    Stay cool, w2w.

  9. Well, TB, now you know where to go next time you're in Florida.

    SR, I don't know, I think the rednecks are fun to watch. At least they can't haul their coolers around on this stretch of the river. Everyone there was pretty subdued on a Sunday morning. Either hungover or contemplative, I guess. Oh, I added your link to the blog list. Thanks for stopping by.

    Mr. S, you would think with all of the water we tubers displaced, the river level would be up!

    Sapphire, I agree with you. Water is pretty amazing. It's the universal solvent so maybe it's also the universal soul-vent.

    Cosmos, I'm so glad you enjoyed the pics, even if they weren't so recent. It was too risky taking the camera on the tube. The pics were from our last trip to the river last October when we kayaked.

  10. Hi W2W .. great post - and I enjoyed the thought tour before the road trip and tube ride .. the cocktail hour and the photos of coolness - looks just wonderful .. glad it was so successful .. happy memories .. Hilary