We’re sure the Festival was awesome (they had horse rides! and syrup!) and we felt terrible to disappoint Moo by not indulging her pancake fantasies. But turns out the day called for a tea break. We drove up the road a bit to Valens Lake Conservation Area, which we had never visited before, and happily deposited a $10 entrance fee for an unknown, quieter adventure.
When we first met in England and began dating there weren’t many troubles that couldn’t be sorted by a cup of tea and a sit down. Today our troubles were ephemeral, darting and vague. They were the mostly internal kind, the voices grumbling about too-long winters and clothes that are ripped and don’t fit. These voices are annoying and we don’t like them but sometimes they insist on being heard.
We pressed on, looking for a place – any place – to sit down and have some tea.
The park was beautiful, especially the drive around the deserted lakefront. We decided winter camping might be a thing we’d like to try someday. Soon we found a tiny trail off one of the campgrounds to slosh through. Grasses were brittle. Snow was thick, but melting. Remnants of vapour trails from long-passed planes made an “x” in the sky. It all felt like a slow changing of the guard that only we were witness to.
With the sun working its magic we soon managed to walk off the discomfort of being 30-weeks-pregnant and having a toddler who recently mastered the art of whining. A little ways into our walk we found – to our great pleasure – the exact place we had been looking for: dry picnic tables! Since there was no snow on the benches we were able to enjoy the cup of tea, brownies and blueberries we’d packed in complete bliss, our first taste of spring.
These are the kinds of moments that are difficult to find living in the city where you are always surrounded by people. And we haven’t been in the country long enough to forget that. When we do find moments like these, we savour them, appreciating the stillness, the transience, and the quiet for what they are. The Maple Syrup Fests of the world can wait.