Canadians are tough! After surviving a night of freezing temperatures we found a pretty lake, defrosted in the sun and enjoyed a BBQ – as you can see, my brilliant son brought his backyard grill from home!
Midday was mostly warm but as the day went on the sun spent more time behind the clouds and a blustery wind started blowing. You could tell the Canadians from the tourists by their shorts and tee-shirts! A few hardy souls actually paddled – fingers of glaciers that never melt reach down to the lake, so the water must have been almost freezing. The rest of us – I’m a Canadian but I wasn’t born here – were wearing warm coats and hats.
I’m camping for last weekend of the summer holidays in Kananaskis Country in the Rockies, a couple of hours from Calgary. For a wilderness, Kananaskis is ‘packed’ and most of the campsites we tried had no spaces left at all. Luckily my daughter-in-law insisted on us coming out here – although none of my other sons were game. It’s a peek at Canadian Nature that I’m glad I saw – and in another few weeks these mountains will be snuggled up under a cozy duvet of snow, hibernating until next Summer.
Sunbathing the other day on the deck, I listened to a friend talking about his goals and how he was searching actively for his ‘right’ direction. I thought for a while about my own path and shared that for years, I too had ‘searched frantically’. I had tried to ‘make’ the world around me conform to what I thought my family and I needed. Sometimes we succeeded but it was very hard work; exhausting for me and for everyone around me.
Now I tend to take a much slower and more gentle approach. A wonderful teacher, Mahmud Nestman in Vancouver, showed me that if I stand still and open my senses, I can trust that I have what I need. And what I want is often right under my nose, the world is brimming with opportunity. We only have to see it and reach out for it. The challenge is keeping still for long enough to see experience and see it, in a world that encourages perpetual motion.
These mountains reminded me of those thoughts: nature is bountiful, in most parts of the world. There is more than enough for everyone; where there is real poverty and hardship, there was/is often a history of greedy corporations, exploiting or changing nature. But that’s another story! For most of us, it’s all ‘right here’; we just need to be still and trust that it really is here.
There is a different and quite unique beauty everywhere. Sometimes it is beauty in the form of sparkling ocean; or perhaps warm seas, sun and surf. Sometimes it’s snow and mountains; or hot dusty cowboy country from Alberta all the way down to Texas. Some places are teeming with bright colours and noisy voices. However our world shows itself to us, everything we need is at our fingertips. All the time.
And when we don’t see it, then it will wait out the seasons of rest and renewal – Winter and Spring – and shine brightly again for us next summer. During your own winter, it would be a perfect time to look inside and explore yourself… With or without ConnectionCue cards. Get to know exactly what makes you tick and what’s most important to you.
Am I waxing lyrical? You bet! Who wouldn’t, surrounded by all this magnificence and plenty! I feel completely full and blessed to be in this magical place, ‘included’ in my son’s loving family.
(I wrote this before a sudden gust of wind ripped the pegs out of my son’s tent and blew it into the trees and before blobs of fat wet snow gave way to hard marble-sized icy hail for an hour and before thick woodsmoke from our only source of warmth caused my sinuses to ache… Camping in the Kananaskis was still a fantastic experience!)