Wednesday, March 21, 2012


 I interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to present an urgent bulletin:  JOY is possible in the midst of  PTSD and latent affects of severe stress.  I repeat:  JOY IS POSSIBLE.

This. Is. Not. A. Test.

Today I share with you a joyful experience I had accidentally yesterday with a longtime friend who has become a cherished encourager during this period of my life.  She is in many ways my spiritual mentor sharing Biblical insights with me, praying for me, encouraging me.
pussy willows
 Yesterday, we went for a walk together.  Along the banks of the Grand River in the Bridgeport area of Kitchener where I live and dwell and have my being.  I had no idea what a treat this would turn out to be for my friend as this walk is as common to me as the couch in my living room.  A hop, skip and jump from my home.  Or to be more precise:  down my driveway, across the street, across a field and Voila! there I is!
a red-winged blackbird
It turned out to be a very special time of sharing.  Sharing a place which is common to me yet my friend never knew existed.  She termed it my "personal conservation area".   An area where I can go any time I choose to find peace.  A concept that I ironically had never even thought of.  I shared this area with her.  She, in turn, shared her unique perspective of it with me.  My first indication that this was going to be a special time was when we first arrived at the river bank.  Looking down from the dike (flood control), she exclaimed that if she lived where I do she would come often, sit down on the bank and dangle her feet over the edge and just sit there and meditate on the goodness of God.  (and I was thinking, "Geez, I wish I'd of thought of that.")

leaves starting to come out
 Then as we walked further, she spotted a pussy willow.  Just a moment later she shared with me her joy at seeing the first red-winged blackbird of the season, followed closely by her excitement at seeing the first leaves poking out.
a couple - common merganzers
Then, I got to share with her my love of the fauna along the river.  In this case, two members of a colony of common merganser ducks which inhabited this section of the river this year.  I've seen Mallards before.  They're common along this stretch of the river.  Ditto seagulls and Canada geese.  But until this year, I've never seen common Mergansers on this stretch of the river.  So I took delight in showing them off.  Sharing something special with my friend.
view through my cane from our riverside bench
 This weak I have been very weak.  Monday I was basically bedridden until 2 p.m., so our walk was cut short by my weakness.  BUT ... my friend had spied a bench.  To her that was special.  To me, I pass it every time I walk that route.  I pass it by regularly, never giving it a thought.
nesting pair of Canada geese
 So, between my weakness and her desire to sit and enjoy this time together, we sat down companionably on the bench on the dike overlooking the River Grand.  We shared a devotional my ever practical friend had brought along with her.  We shared experiences as only two friends can.  Right across from us was this pair of Canada geese.  Occasionally as we chatted I would take pictures of these two.  Enjoying this special time of sharing both the Scripture and our mutual fascination for and love of nature.
seagull in action - a common scene for me
As we sat there, birds flew by.  The only one I caught on the digital version of film was this seagull.  Other high ... and low ... flyers were pairs of Canada geese and a bird of some variety flying over our heads with a twig in its beak ready to make a nest.

The path
The peace, the tranquility permeated my soul.  I felt content.  A sense of well-being.  Finally, we needed to move on and return back to our normal lives.

the first garter snake I've ever seen on the path
trust my friend to have spied it!
 Heading back, we shared another unexpected, special moment as my sharp-eyed friend spotted this teeny weeny garter snake.  What fun we had snapping his/her picture!  A shared moment between friends which neither of us had anticipated

and, of course, he (or she) had to pose for us
I snapping the moment for posterity - and other possible purposes - on my 30x optical zoom Canon while my friend used her Blackberry.
Peaceful, eh?
And then just as it was time for us to head back across the field leading to the street and my driveway, we came across the final peaceful moment of the walk.

Joy. Comes. In. Those. Shared. Intimate. Moments. Between. Friends.

JOY.  Look for it today in your life.  It's there.  Waiting for you to find it.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I think I hear the river calling my name ....

1 comment:

  1. Very nice! Kian and I saw a garter snake yesterday too. We were walking home from the bus when we spotted it. I had to rely on my phone though for pictures, so I didn't get any real good ones. Kian and I watched the snake for at least five minutes. It was such a special gift!