Blue Spring is a sacred place

I don’t belong here.

Walking the wooden path of Blue Spring State Park next to the clear shallow waters, I am a trespasser in the habitats of the West Indian Manatees who winter here. I walk among the cabal palms and nature’s stillness disturbed only by the distant roar of an engine somewhere above and other tourists who have come to see the manatees inch their way forward into the hot spring where they pause, reverently it seems, over the opening from deep in the earth below.

Blue Spring is a sacred place.

So gracefully does the Manatee approach the spring head, the deep hole through the limestone that pours 111 million gallons of water per day from deep below the earth’s surface, enough for every resident of greater Orlando to drink fifty gallons of water a day. The manatee knows nothing of nearby Orlando. Nothing about Epcot or Disney World. Nothing of the Holy Land theme park. Nothing of technology, malls, or vacations. She lives where she is . . . in this special place where she spends her winters to stay warm by the heated water of Blue Spring.

Her movements seem effortless, so fluid and gentle, like the water around her. Her huge flat tail, like a leaf fluttering in a soft breeze, inches her upstream toward the place where the earth is refreshed by the natural hot tub, before the water from deep below the surface cools as it flows downstream to replenish the river. Slowly, very slowly, she moves to the edge of the black oblong opening, this hole in the earth, the spring head, the epicenter of the green pool at the head of the river where she lives. Her tail stops moving. She stays very still and bows her head, like the Virgin Mary pondering the mystery of an ever-virginal Incarnation.

The trespassers get to see this. We can only see it if we push away the noisy culture we have brought to this place; push away the interruptions of a gathering crowd of people taking on cell phones, laughing, and loudly speaking to their fellow tourists as though they were at the mall, cruising past the mannequins in the shop windows or stopping by a town for an hour or two on a cruise. Instead this is where the manatees live more naturally than we.

The manatees have no enemies. None but us.

~ Gordon C. Stewart, excerpt from Be Still!: Departure from Collective Madness (January 23, 2017)



  1. Lovely….

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The was really well done. I enjoyed it thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If I had a bucket list, “caress a manatee” might be very near the top! Lovely post, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Me too. Thank you Carol.


  5. what beautiful and peaceful creatures. we could learn so much from them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ❤️


  7. Tried to find out whether I knew about this natural park as I visited Florida in my ‘former life’…. And realised that I most likely didn’t. And that I heard from time to time about those ‘sea cows’ as we knew them but that I never knew really anything about them. I have now read on the internet what I could and I thank you for this. Caressing a manatee….. this sounds like something from a fairy tale! Love this. Gentle giants, thread gently human….!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Tread … will do – sorry…. brain badly coordinated with finger action!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This was lovely. Christian metaphor is unavoidable sometimes. I wish I could keep my knee from jerking in response, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love these creatures; never seen one in the flesh. But I often feel like a whale or manatee when free-diving in deep water and just … floating. No noise, save the arc of the whale’s cry. No gravity, no traffic, as Hawaiians say, “No more nothing.” It would be lovely if all life could be considered sacred and humans were not the enemy of so many vanishing species.

    Liked by 1 person

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