Thursday Tidbits

Posted on July 26, 2018 under Thursday Tidbits with no comments yet

Spending quality time with Mother Nature

 

I love my morning walks, especially in the summer time. I’m an early bird so getting up and out the door before the hustle and bustle of a new day starts is a treasure that I don’t take for granted.

We’re definitely in the dog days of summer. Do you know where that term originated? Neither did I until I looked it up. The ancient Romans called the hottest and most humid days of the summer “dies caniculares” or “dog days”. The name came about because they associated the hottest days of the summer with the star Sirius. Sirius was known as the “dog star”.

The months of May and June left us all wondering if we would have a summer at all as the temperatures stayed cool with plenty of rain. The good news is that everything is lush and green as we near the end of July.

In our home town, there is a path that runs from St.F.X. University to the mall. It is affectionately called “Liquor Lane”. You don’t need an advanced degree to figure out that this trail runs directly to the liquor store at the mall. It is a well-worn path.

Earlier this week on one of those sultry mornings, I was walking briskly along liquor lane. It doesn’t take much to get my mind wandering but on this particular day, I was thinking about this strip of real estate and transported myself back nearly 60 years when this was known as the Bishop’s Bowl. The land between liquor lane and the Annex (the old Antigonish High School) was comprised of woodland and a wonderful, gently sloping hill that was a great place to toboggan back in the day. Many local skiers used this hill to hone their skills long before the Keppoch came along.

Living nearby on Hillcrest Street, I spent many idyllic summer days of my youth wandering through the woods down to the Bishop’s Bowl, up through the cemetery and into the forest behind Church Street Extension.

I wonder how many children these days will ever experience the joy of spending days on end hanging out with Mother Nature? Back then, in our youth, days felt like months and months felt like years. These days, months feel like days and the years are borne swiftly on the winds of time.

How many children will pick a daisy and carefully pull off the leaves uttering the infamous refrain, “she loves me, she loves me not?” Will they know the smell of spruce gum and how it turns black on your hands when you cut down boughs to make a fort? Will they experience the pure joy of discovering a patch of blueberries and filling their bellies to bursting? Will they unexpectedly come upon a garter snake slithering through the grass? Will they hear the sound of a dozen bullfrogs croaking in unison or the cacophony of a million crickets announcing the closing of another day?

Will they sit in a field eating a peanut butter and jam sandwich while grasshoppers alight on their hands? Will they stumble upon a wasp nest and learn how fast they can run? Will they see a doe and her fawn nibbling on blades of grass? At the end of the day, will they fall into bed, exhausted from expending energy discovering the wonders of nature?

I feel blessed to have grown up with the simple pleasure of life, like a walk in the woods.

Have a great weekend.

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