Always More to See

February 14, 2023

The day was too glorious–warm, sunny, clear– to spend at my desk, checking off my list what had not yet been accomplished. Even though making those check marks nourishes my soul in a certain way, what I needed was nourishment I could feel radiate throughout my whole body. I needed to roam and am grateful my husband had a plan.

His plan was to drive up the Minnesota side of the St Croix River and then cross over the river into Wisconsin at Taylor’s Falls. We remembered a charming cafe near a waterfall in one of the small Wisconsin towns, but which one? That’s what makes roaming interesting–when you “kind of, sort of know,” but who knows what you’ll see or discover in the meantime.

We love this drive at anytime of the year, but during the summer and fall months, the route is crowded with others who have the same idea–enjoy the colors, explore the river, walk, hike, visit fun little shops, wineries, garden nurseries along the way. In the winter, however, the same route is quiet. The invitation is to savor.

I felt the lingering items on my list languish as I gazed across expanses of snow. From here to where? Remnants of harvested corn poked through the crusty snow, and smoke rose daintily out chimneys of solitary homes. I imagined the river views sweetening the life in those homes. A horse here and a small herd of cattle there, puffing steam through their nostrils. I know tending animals in the winter is a challenge, but for the moment it seemed like an idyllic way of life.

And the river–no boats, of course. No waterskiing, no parties of sun gods and goddesses reveling. Only stillness on the surface, leaving underwater life to our imaginations. This is the river’s own time, which does not have to be shared with others, it seems. I hoped our roaming didn’t interfere with the needed rest, the solitude of sanctuary.

We congratulated ourselves when we found the remembered cafe. Our lunch was delicious and our conversation the kind of catch-up we needed. On the way back to the car I stopped to take a picture of the falls. I suppose I should have recorded the sound of the rushing water, but, oh well, I didn’t. I just wanted a simple souvenir of the day, of the nourishment I was receiving.

What Do You See?

Only when I inserted that photo of the falls, which are barely visible, did I notice the real reason for the image.

Look at the tree in the foreground on the right.

The eye. The large, unblinking eye, looking right at me, and now, you.

In fact, I see the profile of a face—an arched eyebrow, nose and turned down mouth.

You may see something different in this image or you may derive a totally different meaning of the eye or none at all, but here’s what it means to me. There is always more to see. There is always more than meets the eye, especially at first glance. And in my seeing, I am seen.

We took a different route on our way home, one we had not driven before that led us gradually back home to our urban life. Back home to my lists, of course, but they could wait for another day.

An Invitation

What have you seen lately that has nourished you? I would love to know.

NOTE: The cafe we enjoyed was the Water Shed in Osceola, WI.

8 thoughts on “Always More to See

  1. What a cool tree and what an amazing thing to discover something like that in your own photo! I think that tree was affirming your choice to meander that day, and abandon the lists. Lists will always be with us, but each glorious day is a gift!


  2. When I had brunch with my St. Olaf roommate and her family to celebrate her 75th, I was blessed to be able to just gaze at her two beautiful granddaughters. This, to me, was more enrichimg than the food. Really looking at children, one sees so very much. Most parents are simply too busy to do this.


  3. Hi Nancy,

    Lovely read as always. Can you please share the location and name of the little restaurant by the waterfall? I am need of a solo drive to restore myself.

    Thank you,

    Happy Valentines Day



  4. The name of the cafe is Water Shed (see second picture) in Osceola, WI. Enjoy. The food is excellent. We were there for lunch, but the dinner menu looks lovely, too. Let me know what you think.


  5. I love that you and your husband take these little day trips and simply just “be” and enjoy each other’s company. My husband is not retired yet, but on his days off, we like to do the same. One of the lovely things about being an empty nester, isn’t it? I didn’t notice that tree until you mentioned it. I scrolled back up on my laptop, took a look, and said out loud – “woah!” I definitely see the face with a big eye. Incredible!


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