Sunday, June 30, 2019

Looking for solace amid a long journey

Halsteads Bay, ON
June 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Along the highway that stretches to the Quebec-Ontario border and forms the ground transportation spine of Canada's largest province, there's a slight detour that took us years too long to discover.

The Thousand Islands Parkway runs parallel to Highway 401 for about 40 km just east of Kingston, a slower, more genteel stretch that trades the superhighway for something decidedly lovelier. The road rolls through impossibly beautiful hills and bays, with each curve opening up more stunning views than the last. I wish it could be longer, even if it adds a few minutes to the overall trip.

But time isn't everything, and there's no rule that says it should dictate how every day needs to play out. It can just as easily be ignored.

Our battered souls needed this diversion as we made our way back home. So we pointed Stella off the 401, and when a tree-shaded rest area presented itself past a curve, we decided to stop for a bit. The St. Lawrence River that runs between Canada and the U.S. was just a short walk through the woods, and when we got there an obviously happy black lab was fetching sticks from far into the bay.

This tree has probably been around since long before we were born, and it felt somewhat appropriate to stop beneath it and drink it in, a veritable icon of life and time, a perfect metaphor for where we had been, and where we now found ourselves.

I stood there for a few minutes as my wife walked ahead. It was as if in the middle of one long trip amid so many long trips, this was the one I was meant to stand beside and shoot on this day. Odd how that works, but I'm not one to question the why.

We'll return here. Not because we need to stick to a schedule, but because sometimes we shouldn't. Because sometimes we need to slow it down. Because sometimes the universe doesn't give us much choice.

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