“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.” Rachel Carson
Sunday afternoon Gottfried and I went for the first time to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, at the eastern edge of the city. It is a 32-hectare wildlife reserve that offers more than two kilometres of level walking trails throughout the riverine forest and the pathway meanders alongside the Bow River and a peaceful lagoon. “More than 250 species of birds and 300 species of plants, plus several kinds of mammals, have been observed in the area,” although not by us today.
It was, however, a lovely way to spend a few hours on Mothers Day and we got to stop and listen to beautiful bird songs as well as more raucous sounds. We had the thrill of seeing several species of birds including the yellow-rumped warbler, a red-headed nuthatch, dozens of swallows, and even a kingfisher in flight. The king fisher reminded us of Berry Point Road on Gabriola, where we had the joy of a permanent resident right out front of our home.
We moodled along the paths and stopped frequently to stare at the Robinson ground squirrels burrowing ferociously into the ground. Dirt was flying everywhere, as dozens of these furry little creatures did what they were programmed to do.
The trees were still bare but the buds were coming. As I observed the teeming life humming away in the marsh, the river, the grasses and the trees while I listened to the sounds of spring, it reminded me again of what a remarkable world we live in. I stood in one spot where the sun actually worked and I was warmed to the tips of my toes. Although we met other walkers, there was a quiet and stillness and comfort that we don’t often experience living in the bustling city.
Rachel Carson was right when she wrote that “for most of us, knowledge of our world comes largely through sight, yet we look about with such unseeing eyes that we are partially blind. One way to open your eyes to unnoticed beauty is to ask yourself, ‘What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?” She believed that those who can appreciate nature’s beauty will find reserves of strength to survive difficult times. I am so happy that today we took the time to stop and look and listen and just wander about away from our daily concerns.
Thanks to Gottfried for suggesting this little outing.