Yesterday, after a particularly rough week, I begged my dear husband to take me “to the wilderness.” We’re usually people of lakes, rivers and streams, but every time we happen upon a forest or pond walk, we agree that we need to spend more time in the woods. The rich earth, the precarious hike over tree roots and muddy pools are a far cry from the pavement world in which we dwell. And this is the time of year that all the signs are there - our comfortable outside weather will soon end. Every time we’ve been couching, I’ve pointed out that these are the glory days of early autumn when the summer sun is still making a play - that these are the days we’ll long for when the furnace is roaring and we’re watching the cold, white world through panes of glass.
So we headed out. The fishing gear was in the car, “in case”, but fishing was not the plan. We headed up to the Wye Marsh, a place I’ve only seen when supervising busloads of kids on school field trips. Yesterday, the Marsh was almost deserted. It was 23 degrees, slight breezy and intensely colorful. Ontario’s leaves are at the beginning of the turn, but the marsh grasses and bullrushes are already yellowing. Snakes and frogs skittered across the path in front of us as we wound our way through the expanse of waving reeds. Snapping turtles and green turtles surfaced and swam amidst swans and mallards. Stick bugs skimmed the pond surface keeping minnows and pumpkinseeds company below them. The air was clean, such a peaceful place.
I felt my senses fill and my heart slow its beating. For a few hours, the stresses of our workplaces and family concerns took a back seat to migratory birds and aging water lilies. And I was filled with gratitude once more for time spent away.