“Explore the earth, soak up her beauty, and let it feed your soul. Love her like your own, and then leave her be.” – April 2021 Alive magazine
Deep verdant green and fragrant gardens draw me most days to paths winding like a fairy tale beneath clouds of falling petals. Plaintive crow young hidden amid an explosion of new leaves are a constant chorus punctuated by the prehistoric squawks of adult herons hovering over their own offspring – happy harbingers of the warmer season to come, feeding my soul each day…
May has unfolded between the latest restrictions to stem the tide of the pandemic in year two and a newly cautious embrace of some kind of normalcy resulting in busy weekends and much quieter days during the week as folks begin to move around once again.
Throughout the pandemic I’ve been keeping my eyes out for breadcrumbs leading back to past pleasures and was thrilled to come across a note advertising a free art exhibit at one of my favourite gallery spaces downtown.
I haven’t ventured downtown very much in the past year having only seen a very small showing at the same venue last summer. This exhibit’s title was a nod to the restrictions in place here in our province – Essential Travel, an artful voyage. This yearly exhibit (ParkerArtSalon.com) is usually held in the artist’s own homes in the east end of the city, an outing I’ve often longed to go on!
I was the only patron and enjoyed a lovely wander through curvy sculptures, colourful abstracts, serene landscapes and a haunting work of Marilyn Monroe (travelling back in time!). With face mask on and strategic hand sanitizer stations, my time inside the airy gallery felt very safe. As I was leaving, I was delighted to see an eager young couple enter on what turned out to be the last day of the exhibit.
That last day ushered in a mini-heatwave and I found myself taking my latest read and a thermos of tea down to a bench beside a friendly tree with jewel-like hummingbirds and noisy flickers to keep me company. With the lagoon just steps away and the sun shaded by leafy green, I imagined a plethora of summer days spent on various benches throughout the park or above the seawall overlooking the sparkling ocean. Other afternoons I retreated to Veranda Cafe beneath a lush green canopy, sitting at a shiny red table with warm sunlight creating delicately moving shadows upon two intersecting neighbourhood streets – a perfect spot to watch the world go by with a cup of jasmine green tea fragrantly steaming or a frothy almond milk hot chocolate waiting to be sipped.
On my way one day to my outdoor table I came across a young couple standing on the sidewalk – the father cradling his newborn daughter face up to the bright sun and when I noticed how tiny she was, he said they had been given a prescription to bring her outside to receive some sunlight. When I heard this, I thought – what a beautiful gesture for their family doctor to make and how joyous it would be if we all could find ourselves open to receiving this grace and healing, feeding our souls and forever taking in the beauty that surrounds us.