Last Sunday I was ready for a walk even though it was really cold (for us west coasters that is) and I decided to drive down to Whalebone Road and start from there. It is so much fun to walk somewhere new, enjoying each step, with no particular destination or time limit – without knowing what’s around the next bend in the road.
After parking the truck, I meandered along the quiet snow-edged road, quicker than planned though, due to the wind chill near the ocean. I was delighted to find trails leading into a couple of small parks that led down to the beach – wonderful little spaces with room to run around and picnic tables to sit on and rest, areas that have been created to provide access for people to enjoy the land and the sea, nestled in amongst the privately owned properties.
I had clambered down my third path to the beach when 5-year-old Sage, his Dad Ben, and their dog Star followed along behind me. In true Gabriola island style, they were friendly to a stranger, and we chatted while the dogs ran around and explored the beach rocks, driftwood, and icicles hanging along the bank. The sun was out, and we had the whole beach to ourselves.
Later, as I drove home with the heater blasting to warm up my tingling fingers and toes, I thought about what a gift it is to live without having to know in advance all the details and strategy in getting to the end goal – and meandering moments remind us of just that.
As Hafiz said: “Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive.”