Reflecting on what was is sometimes the way we interpret writing prompts because the image it brings up produces feelings and memories of things we did once, or things we once did and for whatever reason, do not do anymore. There are many things that change actions, and why events that were like habits, change as well – but there are so many more ways that new memories can be made.
This exercise was introduced at the summer workshop I attended last night hosted by one of our members. Because June is National Picnic Month, the question prompted us to write about where we would go and what we would bring on a picnic. Out of my memory retrieval, came thoughts of trips to Vancouver with my sister, Sylvia – our kids in tow – where we not only visited my brother, but also drove up along the coast of Vancouver Island to Tofino.
Although we camped there years ago, the images are clear and the trip vivid enough that I would certainly venture another vacation to the Island. A picnic along the ocean in Pacific Rim Park would be heavenly. It is not tropical beach or even extremely warm, but the soothing sounds of the ocean waves would lull me into a meditative state. The feel of the sand, warm beneath my feet would be comforting – even getting into all those cracks that one writer I know hates – but sand and water always brings back memories to me, of this and other camping trips, with the kids when they were young.
As adults, they now go their own ways and make their own memories and although still a big part of each other’s lives… there is a difference between the trips then and now. For me, a condo in the mountains with a balcony-view is more conducive to relaxation and writing, although, a car trip to the ocean would never be turned down.
I remember watching, with awe, as a Bald Eagle swooped out of the sky scooping from the ocean its prey. It was amazing to catch nature in action like that and it’s something I have not seen again. I remember also being able to see far into the distance the place where sky and water meet, vast and so much bigger in perspective; especially when we are so closed in, living in the city.
Our discussion about “being” inspired me to write about the day – not a day in memory but a day still in the making – being in the present and even being in the city. Lost in the experience of what it’s like to feel life around you happening there is the realization that beauty exists in the simple everyday. The image of summer for me was reflected in my yesterday.
The winter long parted from our minds and spring, a veil, shielding our eyes and hearts from cold wind’s memory. The days become longer – dusk melting into a vivid palette of sunset oranges and glorious golds. The solstice just heralded summer’s reign and shows us the splendor of crisp greens, flowering pinks and skies of deepest Alberta-blue. Fluffy flat-bottomed clouds dot the atmosphere above us as if they are sitting on a decorative glass-top table. The storm that blows in and lifts the edges of our lives, soon passes with a rumble and shower of cooling rain. The twilight lingers until the last golden glow disappears.
As I write this, of course, that description now becomes a memory for me and a mere breath of words for pages to come. Still, tonight there is more to focus on as the moon is full and its glory will be eclipsed by the sun – each in their own right, the most heavenly body. It is just proof that there is always something wondrous in nature and it is always there for us to absorb, admire, and appreciate. I would go so far as to claim – in summer, “Every day is a picnic.”