Last Monday was the end of our run of unusually hot weather, and some think, the beginning of the end of summer. You know it in your bones – one day you wake up and there’s a chill in the air that wasn’t there the day before. The sun is setting 1 1/2 hours sooner than it was 2 months ago, and always we wonder, “when did that happen?” We deny the changes with exclamations of, “Nooo! Too soon!” and “Where did the summer go??” I/we are always surprised – as if this isn’t a regular occurrence this time of year. It’s hard to hang on, remain present, enjoy these summer days which the calendar says aren’t officially over until next month. Back-to-school buys, fall decor (including Hallowe’en!) and fall workshop promotions have filled store shelves and my inbox since early August. Makes it difficult to really enjoy and stay present to these halcyon days of summer when everything seems to be pushing ahead.
With temps again predicted at 30C, several friends and I decided to go on a “just because it’s summer” celebratory picnic. We hauled table, chairs and picnic hampers through the off-leash dog park and claimed a sandy beach along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River; a beautiful, natural spot where we could enjoy the sunshine, the refreshing water and the cool sand between our toes.
We danced, we laughed, we ate, we collected stones, we took pictures and we shared stories. We pulled our chairs into the water, and watched tiny fish swim around our feet. At the last minute, I’d tossed some brushes, paper and watercolour paints into my bag – so glad I did! We dipped our brushes into the calm water beside us, and for a time, got lost in swirling rainbows of colour on the page.
It was a magical, happy day. It was one of those times that will stay fixed in my memory – one that I will draw from when the gold leaves of autumn are blown away by the coming winter’s chilly winds.
Sadly, plans to build a bridge and pave trails will greatly alter the landscape around “our” spot. By next year, much of the area will be a construction site, off-limits to both human and hound, with sounds of heavy equipment filling the air.
Since I’m still on the lookout for a substitute to my old, tranquil spot on Lake Erie’s shoreline, I lamented the changes coming to this newly discovered, easily accessible piece of heaven along the North Saskatchewan River. Another friend pointed out that a foot bridge would allow greater access for people to get out and enjoy nature, “and whatever brings more people into nature has to be good.” Hmmm…yes…I hadn’t thought of it quite that way.
Change happens – we can fight it, accept it, or embrace it. Being handed a different pair of “perspectacles” helps. As it often does.
“Sometimes heaven is just a new pair of glasses.”- Anne Lamott