Toronto is a city of ravines. Fortunately, the city celebrates this special feature by designing and maintaining walks throughout them. Wikipedia has this to say: “The ravine system began to take shape approximately 12,000 years ago at the end of the last glacial period when the glaciers that once covered Toronto retreated northeast, leaving rivers and valleys in their place.” Apparently, our ravine system is the largest in the world.
Not long after our children were born, we discovered the enjoyment of simple walks with small fingers in our hands enjoying the delights of gently rippling creeks, enormous trees and their roots, sticks to throw, dogs to pat, puddles to splash in, and in some cases, strategically situated playgrounds.
When our children were older, walks with our dog Tippy continued the tradition of exploring Toronto’s ravines.
Covid brought another reason to walk the ravines. When government restrictions mandated no inside entertainment beyond the family, we could meet friends for a ravine walk, remain appropriately distanced, and chat about the challenges of pandemic life as well as a myriad of other topics. It was almost normal.
In the past few weeks, a special guest arrived from New Zealand. Unfortunately, three days later, she was down with Covid. So, what did we do to cope? Marian and I walked the ravines for hours each morning. My Kiwi cousin was awed by the experience. On one of those mornings, we heard music. After peering through the forest and down to the creek below, we noticed a young man practicing his violin. Such a beautiful experience.
Even more recently, our grandsons came to spend a week with us – we called it Grandma and Grandpa Camp – and, you guessed it, we walked the ravines once again. On that particular walk, I discovered a piece of art mounted on a tree as a memorial to the life of the artist. A closer examination of the piece revealed a quote featured on large pieces of laminated cardboard and attributed to Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Now that’s magical.
Regular followers of A Writer of History will know that I occasionally write personal posts. For those who are new to the blog, I hope you enjoyed this bit of whimsy.
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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel is THE ADMIRAL’S WIFE, a dual timeline set in Hong Kong. Mary’s other novels, PARIS IN RUINS, TIME AND REGRET, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.