This spring was Paradise rediscovered: we stumbled on a place we found years ago, then lost. Then found again. It's a wildlife magnet called Piper Spit on Burnaby Lake, with a boardwalk, a huge expanse of warm shallow water, marshland for nesting, and birds.
I find birds restful and spiritually soothing. Their song seems to pour balm on the rawness in my soul. We used to have tons of them in the backyard: jays, juncos, chickadees, wrens, thrushes and nuthatches, even the odd flicker. We're not sure why they're not hanging around any more, unless it's the cat staring out the window at them. But Bentley didn't seem to scare them last year.
When we stumbled on this place again, I had a feeling I've experienced only a couple of times in my life: that I had found a sort of heaven on earth. The birds here are so tame that they walk up to you (no doubt because they've been human-fed, a practice I don't believe in, though it leads to some amazing close encounters.) Every time we go there, we see new species. I'm also posting video of our incredible encounter with two magnificent sandhill cranes. For some reason, red-winged blackbirds love the place, and I had my hand less than two inches away from one of them. Now I'm tempted to try to get one of them to eat out of my hand, which I know I shouldn't.
I need this. I always feel frazzled in my brain somewhere, and often feel I can't really express myself on this blog, so I result to satire and silliness. I hate the wildfires in Fort McMurray, I fear that we are next, and am sure we at least contributed to causing it with our brutality to nature. I feel completely powerless, and the homilies on Facebook and the "hey, get involved" exhortations ring hollow.
So I have this.
I have this, which was there all along, but we somehow never knew about it. Except that we did! We went there once, years and years ago. Then the area was closed by construction and we got distracted and never went back.
Do things happen at the right time? No, they don't. Humans impose that idea on reality, to reassure themselves that (a) we are in charge of everything, and/or (b) the Universe wraps itself around our own particular whims.
None of this is true.
But I have Piper Spit, and I have just begun to explore it. I get that strange heaven-feeling I've had maybe twice before in my life. It's an enchantment that lies very close to the source of life.