Springing with hope

My lawn has been raked. The grass grows greener by the day. Almost two weeks of sunshine and being outside in the yard makes me feel almost whole again. Buds are forming on the branches of the trees in my yard. Green leaves are starting to shoot our from the shrubs.
I thank my lucky stars that my wife and I live in a small community in Northwestern Ontario. Isolated and remote from the rest of Ontario and Canada and the border shut off from the United States does have its blessings.
Sometimes being in a remote community has its blessings. Every day since March 16 my wife and I have walked from our home east along Second Street to the river and then followed the river walk back to the hospital and then north on Victoria ’til we intersect with Second again. It takes just shy of an hour. In larger centers we would constantly be meeting people coming towards us or passing other walkers. On a normal morning we might meet one or two mothers with their young babes in a stroller, three or four people walking their dogs and another three or four walkers in our hour long stroll. Often we meet as few as three persons and seldom more than one person walking along second.
We don’t have to worry about the six foot distance rule.
Regularly we stop and talk with a couple who are enjoying the morning sun while sitting on their front steps with a extra large “Tim’s”. They sit on their front steps and we pause on the sidewalk and exchange small talk. I think they enjoy our small stop as much as we do. We are social beings and that small interval helps break the day by creating some social interaction.
Living on Second Street, and working in the yard has lots of benefits. I receive lots of honks from trucks and cars passing and even though I might not recognize the vehicle, I wave hoping it is someone I know. There are a lot of people out walking to pass the time as they work through isolation. Many will stop and we will engage in conversation commenting on the weather, how the yard work is progressing and as always wondering what each of us is doing as we enter into the eighth week of self isolation.
Playground equipment might be off limits still. Park tables have been removed to safer spots, but we are free to walk through our parks. Pithers Point Park and Seven Oaks is blocked to car traffic, but open to pedestrian traffic. Some boat launches are open. Residents are already uncovering their boats preparing for summer fishing and getting to their cabins. There have been no new cases of the virus in the district and we all feel safe in our isolation.
Living in Fort Frances and the Rainy River district is a good thing.

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