Find Your Zen on Cumberland Island
by: Davis Yancy Clegg
In this age, we have become quite savvy at discovering new ways to find harmony with ourselves. Many find solace in performing a simple mantra every day when they arise from what has been – hopefully – a good night’s rest. “Your destiny is your own.” “I am calm and collected.” “The day holds nothing I can’t bear.” Repeating’s mantras just like these have been documented to make a person feel secure and empowered, ready to take on their grind for the day.
For some, Yoga might be a viable routine to find their answers to relieved stress. Studies have shown that bringing the mind and body together as one can help achieve a Zen state thus making your day much easier to bare, regardless of what challenges or obstacles await you. Ray Bradbury, Zen guru, once phrased it this way. “Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.” It’s a trip how we all take so much so seriously, and forget to enjoy what’s around us. A great thought I like to carry with me. Some try and think of the entire path life has set before them as one maneuver. You only need to concentrate on the step that is directly following your last. It’s like when you are reading a book. You think about what plotline you have just read in the last paragraph, so that you may understand the meaning of what lies in the next. As this is called comprehensive reading, let’s call our reading in life, comprehensive living. It’s all well and good once you find these places on Earth where you can channel these habits. It just so happens that we have one of those places just off the shore of Amelia Island. Cumberland Island, one of our cruises most famous attractions, is of course well-known for its wild stallions and ancient architecture. However, there is more than what meets the eye. There is great treasure to be found in what meets the feet!
The Maritime Forests are laced in a pristine fashion with color. All the undeveloped beaches and wide marshes kindle a flame in the soul, sparking a nostalgic fire, a fire for a time when development only took place within us, and not around us. On Cumberland, natives, missionaries, industrial minds and those enslaved have all left their mark in some form or fashion.
The Lands and Legacies tour is a motorized trip up to the northern-most point of Cumberland. It begins at the Sea Camp Ranger Station. On this tour, you will witness both cultural and quite natural landmarks. What is left of Robert Stafford’s plantation and cemetery, Plum Orchard Mansion, The Wharf, and even the first African Baptist Church. Each motion forward and turn to the left or right will land you in a different place and time as you tour the rugged terrain. Come and experience what those whom have walked the island and lived in its prism of change long before us experienced. The pricing for each tour is a mere $45 per ticket. For that wealth of knowledge, a fair price indeed I would say.
The tours are nearly all year-round except there will be no guide available on Christmas day. The tour will also be unavailable on Tuesdays and Thursdays between December 1 and February 8. Group tours are indeed available. It’s important to remember though, the bigger your group, the less intimate your learning experience may be, as guides are of course, limited in numbers. There is usually one, but sometimes a second tour given the weather and time of year.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When coming to the Cumberland Island, it is VITAL that you remember one thing. There is nothing for you to purchase to enhance your visit on the island. This could create a somewhat unpleasant experience. Feel free to bring any cooler or backpack that you feel will accommodate you accordingly. The guides and other guests on Cumberland Island can’t wait to make your acquaintances and join you in your search for Zen among the wild plant and animal life.
Most of our cruises will be back in the first week of March. Hop on the boat and you may be rewarded with the sight of wild horses on Cumberland Island. (continue…)