Those Captivating Kawarthas

I sing of birds and gardens, trees and lakes, of the earth itself and the morning sun rising through the mist. Is there any sight more beautiful than families of swallows swooping and diving in intricate patterns as parents teach their children the art of catching insects? This is a special time on the farm, air filled with song and scent and stern warnings of parents to the dogs and me to stay out of their space until their bay birds have learned to fly.

Birds have much to teach those who would take the time to listen. They treat their children as precious, protecting them first in the nest, then as they learn to fly. When a sparrow falls out of the nest too soon, the whole community of parents moves in to feed and protect it until it can fly. They spend their days in the fields and trees, barns and eves without damaging the world around them. Best of all, every morning they sing the sun into the sky. There is much we could learn from birds.

Today I saw four eagles lazily soaring together, lords of the air. It took my breath away. How many cities do you know that offer such spectacle? We in the Kawarthas have so many blessings heaped on us that we take for granted what would be wonders to others. We fall asleep to a serenade of frogs and crickets and awaken to a chorus of birds singing the new day. That’s pretty fine. It is time the world learned that what we have here is extraordinary.

Our garden, a jungle of growth thanks to the rain, looks poised once again to provide more fresh fruit and vegetables than we can eat, wild roses that I planted four years ago finally in blossom, day lilies about to open and tiny apples and cherries where blossoms stood short weeks ago. This beautiful, rich earth, loving parent that it is, never seems to tire of serving our needs.

I attended a grand opening of the city’s new community gardens and a sod turning for the Trans-Canada Trail, both at Fleming College this past week. A new day has dawned in our city, one with the vision to recognize the natural grandeur around us and the readiness to honour it. These are heady days for our city as we collectively discover that what the world needs most, fresh water, good soil, clean air and a dream for the future is to be found in abundance right here.

The natural world is a powerful teacher. It teaches us to love and nurture our children because they are beyond price, to step lightly on this precious earth, to appreciate the beauty and diversity around us, to take every opportunity to soar on the backs of eagles and, most of all, to sing the morning sun into the sky each day with hope renewed. It is not for us to know what tomorrow will bring, only to cherish today to the best of our ability. See you next time.

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