“The blessing of the Lord makes rich …” (Proverbs 10:22)
We had dinner out on the water yesterday. It was spontaneous and special. We threw the canoe on the car, packed the girls in the back, and drove off into the Hamilton wilderness. (That would be Cootes Paradise, for those of you who are scratching your heads and wondering where on the earth a canoe-worthy wilderness exists around here.)
I spoon-fed our seven-month old as my husband steered us down the Desjardins Canal with all the skill (and good looks) of a gondolier. Our two-year old, who was sitting behind me, splashed her very own toddler-sized paddle in the water while munching on a peanut butter sandwich.
As we glided along, two otters came and swam alongside the bow. Deer crept softly to the water’s edge and stooped to drink. They bounded into the woods with a crash when my daughter began to talk. A choir of songbirds sang, and frogs called to each other with voices that sounded like the twanging of a banjo. The music of nature is always the most beautiful.
Everywhere we looked, there were birds. There were swallows dancing through the air, pairs of swans nesting in the reeds, and red-wing blackbirds flitting among the bulrushes. Terns dive-bombed the water with a splash and then took to the sky again. Geese flew so low overhead that we could hear their wings slapping the air.
A man and his son canoed in tandem with us for a while, strangers, but with the instant camaraderie that is common among paddlers. They told us that a pair of bald eagles was nesting in the area. We swapped wilderness adventure stories while scanning the treeline for the iconic birds of prey. We didn’t see them.
The sky grew rosy as the sun began to sink on the horizon. It was long past the girls’ bedtime. Tired but happy, we paddled back to the car and drove home. Another day over. Another memory to cherish.
As I lay in bed last night and slowly drifted off to sleep, I couldn’t help but think that life is full.