Saturday, July 01, 2006

Wishing for that Rural Slice of Heaven

Today was Canada Day and the start of our two week vacation. In the small town where we work and do most of our shopping, all the stores were closed with the exception of a couple of truck stops. We went into town for breakfast and decided to take the long way home.

We took the smaller roads north of town, choosing our direction only when presented with an intersection. I was staking out Elderberry bushes on publicly accessible land for future harvesting when the berries get ripe this fall. I was enjoying seeing someplace I had never seen before.

At one point we came across a sign for Charlottenburg Park, advertising free admittance Canada Day only and decided to visit. The park wasn't overly crowded yet, though it was early on a Saturday afternoon, so we parked and wondered into the picnic area. It was lovely. There were picnic tables and BBQ pits everywhere, a sand beach where you could swim, change rooms, and bathrooms. We sat and watched the water flow back and forth as a ship passed heading west on the St Lawrence, for a few minutes then decided it was time to move on.

On our way out of the park we noticed a trial leading off into the woods. This was a beacon to our exploring hearts. Parking in a designated area we trot off into the woods looking for adventure. Well, we found it in the persistent and unwelcome attention of 300 mosquitoes and a half dozen horse flies. That is until we came to a boardwalk leading to a slow moving creek covered with duck weed and lily pads, the wind was blowing nicely, enough to keep the boards cool under our feet and to push the bugs back into the underbrush.

We sat on the bridge, watching the water and talking softly; admiring the graceful swoop of irridescent blue dragonflies. Occasionally we could hear a car pass along the highway or even see one as it drove down to the beach area in the park. It was absolutely beautiful and peaceful too.

After some minutes, PeterC and I lay down on the bridge and just enjoyed being still and quiet. It wasn't long before the bullfrogs began tentatively calling out to one another with a soft, yet deep, bass croak. First one, then another, and another. In the end there were four frogs calling to each other softly, as if they were afraid their calls would rouse us from our drowsing on the bridge.

We finally did leave but along the trail back to the car, and deep into the evening after we arrived back home, all I could think about was how still and quiet everything was. My mind, and body, for those brief minutes had been still. No thoughts of work had crossed my mind the whole time I had been laying there on the wooden bridge listening to the bullfrogs and birds sing.

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