Comparison is the thief of joy.President Theodore Roosevelt
At the beginning of summer I vocalized missing Greece and my friend Crystal asked “Are you going to compare everything to Greece?” The question was direct and pointed—and it was a good one. Was I? I have spent every summer for over fifteen years in Greece. I suppose some comparison was inevitable, however, what good would it truly do?
Dare to compare
I spent the past week in Prince Albert National Park at the resort of Waskesiu. The truth is that this week couldn’t have been more perfect. Weather in Saskatchewan is tumultuous yet in Greece it is consistently sunshiny hot every day. But to my good luck, Mother Nature gifted me a seven day run of gorgeous hot summer weather. And I am grateful.
It’s currently so warm that I am sitting outside. The streets are quiet—like the mid day siestas in the Mediterranean. My boyfriend is snoozing on a chair in the corner of the deck—his shirt off—it’s just that warm. The occasional kid rides up on their bike and gives a quiet hello. It feels like our trek five hours north took us somewhere much further—more tropical.
There’s a small street at the cluster of cabins at Baker’s Cabins that reminds me of some place I may have seen, on more exotic travels with the dirt road right up to the doors of the tiny cabins, paddle boards leaned against the shed like houses, all in a row. Beautiful. I think sometimes we forget about the gifts in our backyards, the adventures and beauty because we’re preoccupied with what is going on elsewhere.
This summer Waskesui has given me gorgeous hot beach days on shores of crystal clear water, refreshing swims, soft sand, hikes in the woods, tower tall evergreens—spruce, fir, larch and pine. Too much food was eaten outside every day. I had daily morning runs along the lake and warm evening walks. The sunsets were stunning with boats zooming across the water to get their last moments in before nightfall.
I’ve done a lot of laughing these days. I have played games in the park, socialized and spent time alone. I have eaten with groups and sipped on coffee in silence. I was also given the gift of two pieces of sea glass in the sand, (thank you Mama Nature) which, I guess, is actually lake glass, smooth and buff and pretty and something I have only associated with the Greece. The sand has purple contours—yes, purple! I have let my brain travel in and out of the energy—and the trees— of this place.
The history here is different than the history in Greece but there is something equally epic about it. The monuments are of nature—not of man. To waste even a moment wishing I were somewhere else is a disservice to my heart and my experience.
On my last beach day I found my usual spot near a raspberry patch on the shore. There was a piece of driftwood leaned up near the bush. Was it there all those days and I never noticed? Maybe. But, on this last day I received the message loud and clear reminding me of the marvel of being here—and by here I mean fully present, not coordinates on a map.
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.Aristotle