If you feel the need to escape, then I have got the place for you. I must say I was very surprised by the size of this secret hiding place and suggest that you explore it yourself. The Meroke Preserve, located on the corner of Orange Street and Farmers Avenue, is a wonderful and exciting place to visit. My experience there was serene, delightful and inspiring.
Being part of the 3,300 acres of preserves that Nassau County manages, the 25-acre Meroke Preserve is maintained so we may enjoy the natural spaces of Long Island. It's these areas that really give our communities a sense of organic environment. We should appreciate them because they are the Earth's gifts to us. Taking care of these preserves is important to keep our history alive. Plus, they are great places for us to take our children so that they see the beauty in their surroundings and learn how vital it is to appreciate nature.
When you enter the preserve you will be greeted by a sign that says Faith Laursen Meroke Preserve. If you don't already know, Faith was a former publisher of the Freeport/Baldwin Leader as well the owner of Merrick Life with her husband. From what I read, she was an intelligent caring woman who loved nature and felt it was important to appreciate life. For this reason, the Meroke Preserve was named in her honor. Although she is not here today, the light inside her will continue to shine and give life to all the trees and plants that call Meroke home.
As you start your walk through the preserve the trails effortlessly lead you while the trees welcome you quietly. Hearing the birds chirping and the leaves rattle were music to my ears. It was a gorgeous day and the sun lit up the area so brilliantly I was practically seeing through a lens the whole time. It was really hard not to capture all the beauty I was able to witness. Although this is the time for the trees to be quite sparse their was an interesting amount of foliage. Browns, greens and oranges surrounded me creating an autumn rainbow that would soon turn to spring.
In the middle of my walk I came to a small bridge. As I continued over the bridge I could see a lot of brush up ahead. Eventually the path turned to hectic for me to go on so I turned back With the stream to my left I walked to the edge and admired the swampy area, the overgrown roots protruding the earth ever so slightly and the moss green as ever. There is so much about nature that is captivating and as I continue on my journey that is proven over and over again. There were certain trees that held so much character it amazed me. The detailed cuts and aged growths really made me feel like I was not in Kansas anymore. The time I had spent at the Meroke Preserve felt like a brief moment in history and I am the lucky one to go back in time.
It's interesting to think that in 2010 you can experience a place that has been standing over 100 years. With a bit of the past surrounding you its not hard to let go of any issues or daily struggles you may be dealing with. Breathe in the cool air, feel the sun peaking through the trees and thank Mother Nature for providing yet another beautiful place where you can relax and set your soul free. A new view of the past will always brighten your future.
(Editor's Note: A New View is a bi-monthly column that will be featured on Bellmore Patch. We welcome Melissa O'Connor's superb photography skills and informative history lessons.)