No time like the present

Summer time, and the living is easy . . . .
Our Northwestern Ontario climate and terrain make this a great season to enjoy life. But sometimes we get so preoccupied with preparing for the ever-changing future, that we don’t savour the present.
Life rushes by all too fast, and sometimes seems meaningless.
I’m reading a book that starts “We live in changing times.” I almost stopped reading. My reaction? I KNOW THAT! But then, people always did. They didn’t think about it as much as we do, they just went on with life.
When my mother was 20, her life in northeastern Germany seemed set with a good husband, two children, and a farm whose payments they could handle.
Ten years later, her husband was lost as a prisoner-of-war. She, with six kids, an aging mother, and a frightened household staff, was a refugee exactly like the Kosovars now (don’t we humans ever learn?!)
Ten years later, she was in another country with another language, starting a whole new life.
I’ll bet you have similar experiences in your past. And that wasn’t change? Massive, unexpected, stressful! Except people didn’t know the word and concept of stress back then.
We do, and we sometimes have more good choices than we make. This experience caused me to “stop and smell the [wild] roses.”
On the weekend, a workshop participant at Quetico Centre brought his young son along. On Saturday at 6 a.m., I was quickly going to look after my chickens, ducks, and rabbits so I could write this column.
My deadline was imminent! My hobby would play second fiddle.
But there in the chicken house, at that early hour, was Philip, gazing quietly at the rabbit babies. All dressed and ready for the day, he had met adventure!
His eyes were shining and he obviously loved animals. He knew the “mallards” by their gentle sounds but he didn’t know the roosters from the hens, or how chicks are born, or which is the clover that I told him rabbits like.
So we did “chores” together. He noted how the blind duck recognized his food by the smacking sound of its mates. The chickens pecked grain from his hands, and while he was a bit afraid, he decided that wasn’t the same as biting.
He held the tiny Muscovy duck twins which snuggled in his hands. He gathered eggs, and found out what happens when you drop one.
The rabbits nibbled fresh clover right from his fingers. And then we went to observe the just-hatching chicks through the incubator window.
All this took more than an hour and the column didn’t get written. But Philip and I both had a wonderful start for our weekend.
So enjoy the beginning of summer, take care of your present, and we’ll get back to the future soon.

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