Normal is a four letter word. Extraordinary is the new black.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Making hay....

The saying, "Make hay while the sun shines." may have roots stemming from farming before five day weather forcasts, however, it's not difficult to imagine that whoever said it first spent at least part of their life on the Westcoast of BC. Our rainforest weather belt means that this spoiled Westcoast girl rarely wears a winter coat, but the trade off is all those months of rain which gives this place it's super fantastic green hue.

In a place where June's cold, wet weather, inspires locals to refer to it as Juneuary, you'd better believe that when the sun shines hot in September, it's all about soaking up every last bit of Vitamin D.  Grey skies are ahead, there's no denying.

September means back to chaos and obligations. We balance it with a healthy dose of ignoring the laundry, and dishes, in favor of adventuring outside.

For about ten seconds I thought about hitting the gym on Sunday morning, but then realized it was a gorgeous day for a hike. We decided to explore Chipmunk Caves. These awesome caves are a short, kid friendly walk into the forest. When you get there, it is like a scene out of some magical storybook.

Caylen happily went through the caves with another family that was there. The caves themselves, were a little much for our middle adventurer, but that's okay. He would climb to the mouth of the cave and sit there as though he was trying it on for size. Going inside was where he drew the line.

There was a time, that being in the forest, would have been too much for him, and so we embrace progress and make note that cave exploration is another thing to add to his "try at least once" list.

Getting into one of the caves it's a fairly steep climb up a hillside. Lorelei, kept going to the mouth, trying to screw up the courage to go inside. While she didn't actually go inside this time, I can confirm that my goal of a workout was accomplished. Climbing that hillside several times and sliding down, was equivalent to about ten thousand squats. How do I know? Let's just say if you saw me try to sit the next day, you would have wondered what that high pitched whine was.

In an attempt to continue a goal to make Monday's something to look forward to, I surprised Lorelei and Graysen at afterschool pickup, declaring that we were walking a different way home. Change and surprises are rarely welcome in Graysen's world, and so as he began spiralling into a pit of horror at the thought of deviating from the plan, I began our regular mantra, working him through this unscheduled detour in his day. I won't pretend I didn't grease the wheels with a promise of to stop at the corner store for slurpees, if he could come happily and embrace the adventure. Sometimes, parenting by way of frozen, colored sugar water is all we got.

Physically, this route took us in the exact opposite direction of our house. However, if the goal was bliss on a crazy Monday, we went in exactly the right direction.

Earlier that day, I had taken my screaming quad muscles on a great hike along the rock covered islands in the middle of the river to make sure that there were kid friendly crossings through the water.

We walked over a large log jam, through shallow spots in the river. We kept our shoes on in the water which Lorelei thought was just the best thing ever.

The reward was our destination, a sweet swimming hole, complete with soft sandy beach. I had brought their bathing suits in my backpack, and when I pulled them out, you would think by the awestruck look on their faces, I had pulled off a magic trick, rivalling David Blaine. Soon enough they were splashing each other and giggling. Eventually, Daddy and Caylen arrived from their obligations to meet us. They came down to hang for a moment of bliss in the middle of the regular chaos of any given Monday.

If I squinted real hard, I could pretend that it was still summer, and we had been playing in this swimming hole all day. I could pretend that we didn't have looming evening obligations of paperwork, household duties, after school activities and the carpooling those activities bring. For a moment, I could let it all fall away, and pretend that this was all there was in the world.

It's in these quiet stolen heartbeats, that I make hay. I store it up for all those times that life creeps in with it's very real realness. Those grey clouds are rarely far off in life's forecast, and they seem to demand a surrender of happiness along with attention.

I'm not having it. The happiness is mine to keep. Those clouds can have only the attention I feel they deserve, because the rest of me is always searching for those moments when the sunshine pokes through the clouds.


  1. What an amazingly beautifully place you live in! We're the same about sun and warmth - we soak up all we can get whenever we can. I'm not sure I'd cope with every day being sunny and warm. It would take away the novelty!


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