Someone wise once said, “Nothing is permanent except change.” How true. We live in an ever-changing environment, an ever-changing world. In the same respect, we are creatures of habit, and the stressors of life’s constant changes seem to challenge most people while they navigate through daily existence.
Having said that, it stands to reason why a conservation effort such as Deer Haven Park, what with its clandestine military history, tranquil, natural habitat and abundance of wildlife is so alluring — not to mention any breathtaking encounters with the white whitetail deer.
Lest we forget the uniqueness found beyond the fence at DHP and what it delivers to our own backyard, we are consistently reminded by the park’s visitors who come from near and (very) far to experience what the park has to offer. What visitors walk away with is truly a blessing.
One such visitor this season traveled all the way from India. Sarah Kidd is a teacher who was vacationing in the States to visit family and friends. On her “must-do” list was a private tour of DHP. “I’ve heard so much about this park that I have to come see it for myself,” she shared upon scheduling.
The day was overcast and unseasonably cool, but it was as if the wildlife knew this was Sarah’s once-in-a-lifetime experience. White and brown bucks, does, and fawns exhibited curiosity with an inquisitiveness that made it appear as if Sarah’s presence was one of uniqueness for them as well.
The resident blue heron not only made an appearance, but flew right over the windshield, legs dangling close enough to touch!
An eaglet, obviously just born this year, stopped the touring vehicle in its tracks as the youngster lingered steadfast on the roadway’s center, claiming the road, the visitors, and time itself as its own. This majestic bird held fast for so long it was uncanny. “Fascinating,” Sarah whispered as we sat a mere car’s length away and reveled in its unspoken message — time does not manage existence here; nature does.
What may be more fascinating however were the post-tour insights shared by this most appreciative tourist:
“I was amazed at the magnificence of the park and appreciative of the foresight and generosity of the owner to preserve this, which takes apparent sacrifice and generosity with intention. The space is so beautiful. I love the multiple layers of history. To think of the teamwork and sacrifice at play and happening during the [depot] construction and that this place contributed a lot to a WWII victory, but the thought being tempered by the sadness for the dispossessed families.
“I loved the science component of how the recessive gene factors into the [white whitetail deer] herd forming. I found this fascinating. The ability to get out and see the igloos and the beaver dam was so educational. The environment was so very peaceful, and it was so good to slow down from my normal day to day. I am so appreciative for this preservation effort and my chance to visit.”
Many audible sighs of everyday stresses being abated were heard that day. DHP tends to claim such things and release them to the breeze. By lightening one’s stress load, visitors are reminded that nature and wildlife are necessary parts of human existence. This, a realization that DHP embraces as they strive to offer respite for visitors to journey beyond the fence, where experiencing history and attuning to nature brings a sense of peace and helps put appreciation and perspective back into busy daily lives.