Wild Sunday reflections June 1, 2008

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“It’s just so peaceful,” the 16-year-old said.

No irony, no sarcasm, no general snarkiness, none of the stuff that comes too naturally with teenagers.

Simply, “It ‘s just so peaceful,” apropos nothing and everything,while the four kids and I picnicked at Kankakee River State Park today.

And it was peaceful.

It reminded me of an earlier evening when I caught the sun setting on the river, a much lower river.

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Very simply that may be the greatest value of Illinois state parks, a place of peace.

There is a value in that which is difficult to fully calculate, but it has true value.

We had simply stopped at Subway and KFC, then picked one of the few open picnic tables in the shade with a view of river.

Just the four kids and me finding some peace.

So were many others. The playgrounds, the biking/hiking paths and picnic tables were all packed. Usually there’s far more fishermen, but only a few challenged high, fast and muddy water.

One guy collared me and asked how far to the suspended bridge. He meant over Rock Creek. I said a quarter mile or so, and he and his family walked on.

Just peaceful.

Maybe that is one reason I got so angry, so gut angry, about what Gov. Blagojevich continues to do to Illinois outdoors.

He’s cutting at a piece of my heart.

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