“Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it.” – Rumi
Most of my solo walks are heavenly – there are often small paths and walkways leading to lush gardens and on todays’ walk down by the lagoon, a friendly black crow walked with me flying from one tree branch to another and when she neared the old stone bridge, she called good-bye to me as only a cheeky crow can. It was magical to walk with her on a path empty of people after an early morning rain shower.
As I wandered, I noticed a musician and his female companion sitting underneath the tall canopy at a picnic table almost hidden from view – he began to strum his guitar and they both started to sing a haunting song, another woman stood nearby entranced. I walked on my favourite upper path overlooking the ocean filled with joy at this unexpected gift. Some of the tree trunks nearby sported large red construction paper hearts tied with old-fashioned twine imploring passersby to hug them and leave the date…
The paths I lately walk beside the dark green lagoon reveal heaps of goslings nestled together with their watchful parents nearby; an older gentleman walking towards me remarked to his wife, “It seems to be the year of the Canada Goose”, and he was right, I was met with downy goslings almost every step I took!
This unique season unfolding during a world-wide pandemic leaves me breathless with its fierce fuschia, pale yellow and vibrant red blooms punctuating shimmering greens – there is fragrance all around emanating from young snow white rhododendron bushes and floating from waning cherry blossoms. Perhaps this unrelenting virus has put everything I see and feel into sharp focus, like a Monet painting come to life.
Above an outcropping of rock by the ocean, ravens and eagles soar as I walk on an almost empty seawall, apex predators ever alert for unsuspecting prey. Their raucous calls yet another form of music to my ears on this fine spring day. I’m forever grateful that these late spring days offer such respite from staying inside, there is always a friendly face to wave to and something new to see…
Today feels like the first of many summer days to come so we packed up some salad and sandwiches to head into the slowly awakening park to find a picnic table far from the madding crowd. What a surprise to find two empty freshly painted tables (in warm terracotta hues) waiting for us near the for now closed Railway Cafe. We vowed to try to do this at least once a week after a wonderful lunch in the open air!
On my solo walk later in the afternoon after fruitlessly trying to find some quiet space, I wandered back to the cedar grove near the Great Blue heronry I noted earlier, to drink some cool water underneath a majestic tree with just enough sunshine among the shadows. There are two paths on either side of me with a few trees between them to allow me a view of the many people heading to picnic areas and down to the beach. The fragrance of spring is in the air with the odd prehistoric chatter from the many heron nests, this tiny oasis a perfect place to write and read a word or two.
COVID-19 restrictions are slowly lifting in our part of the world – a recent foray to a boarded up downtown that kept me away for over 2 months revealed colourful murals filled with whimsy and good wishes. Just a few retail stores took their murals down to welcome masked shoppers on streets devoid of their usual activity. A new world is unfolding and I hope to step boldly into the future with the mantra, fewer faces and bigger spaces, as my armour guiding the way. Tomorrow seems closed for the moment, a new day will dawn – this cannot be forever.
This post is dedicated to our Provincial Health Officer (British Columbia), Dr. Bonnie Henry, whose calm words became the title of my post. She comes to each press conference wearing kick-ass Fluevog shoes and cool jewellery, weaving words of hope amid the hard data.