While there is the weekend yet to go, today is the last day of our vacation. We've been away since Monday on our annual trip up to Muskoka. This was the first year of many that the weather's not been great. It's been grey and cold and damp the whole time. We managed to fit everything in; the trip to Santa's village, the annual night out to Boston Pizza, the scavenger hunt, but we did these with an eye to the sky the entire time. Rain threatened every day and we became masters at getting out and staying dry.
A big part of being here is strolling the boardwalk around the lake. It's a beautiful walk with places that are perfect to stop, with the kids, and look for wildlife and be amazed by the nature around us. One spot is a small bridge, very small bridge, where the girls can stand on tippy toes or crouch down to look through the slats, and count ducks or heron or beaver. This year beautiful lilies are blooming amongst the pads.
I love these walks. There is something about that walk that seems to relax everyone who makes it. Since the get go, it's been a welcoming place. Everyone greets everyone else. Either a nod of the head or, more commonly, a hello and a few words of conversation. It just feels so nice. Everyone acknowledging everyone. Those with dogs are stopped often and dogs, when permission has been given, get lavish attention which they revel in.
Me, I love the fact that, on these walks, I'm spoken to, equally and inclusively, with the rest of my family. The chatter flows naturally and people seem to both acknowledge and forget my differences at the same time. I like this.
I will miss this.
When I get home.
I will miss the sense of being fully human, fully different, when we are out. I will miss having time and space where I feel safe and welcome all at the same time.
I say we come up here for the kids, but I realize, that's not completely true.