Thursday, 3 July 2014
We have over 250 kilometres/155 miles of walking trail here in the valley, and I'm very grateful for them. Many of the trails are part of the TransCanada trail system, a project built with both community funding and volunteer labour, that - when complete - will stretch all the way across the country.
I often take my morning walks along some part of the Trans Canada trail, and that's where I found myself this morning.
It's easy when walking through our coastal forests to get caught up in the bigness of the landscape. Trees so large that it takes three people with linked hands to reach around the trunks, maples with leaves more than a foot across, broad rivers with tumbling rapids and cascading falls; they surround you with such majestic beauty that a person can gaze endlessly at the tapestry they present.
That tapestry, though, is held together with a million tiny stitches from the soft fronds of green moss carpets that wrap the trees, to tiny creatures on the ground and in the forest canopy, to the millions of delicate plants that live on the forest floor. If you pause to observe them, they are outstandingly beautiful in their own right.
Today, I chose to look at the small stitches in the tapestry.
I saw metallic green beetles that shone as if burnished.
I saw great swathes of buttercup growing along the edges of a small trickling stream, their bright yellow flowers glowing in the shade.
I saw a granddaddy trout resting in the calm back eddy of a river pool.
I saw butterflies - white, and black and yellow, and rich mahogany brown.
I saw a million tiny flowers, from pure white stars perched at the top of tall stems to tiny mauve bells snuggled in among blades of grass.
I reached my goal distance before I knew it, the sights and sounds around me drawing me on, and then walked back to my starting point again as entranced as I'd been when I started. I took nearly fifty photos, and couldn't wait to get my paints out when I got home.
There are chores to do today, and errands to run. There are meals to cook, and clothes to wash. But first, there was walking and now there is painting. The rest will be there when I'm done.
I hope that, wherever you are and whatever you're doing, you find time to pause and enjoy the beautiful gifts the day brings your way. Have a terrific Thursday.