Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Picnic


On September 20, 2008, I went to a birthday picnic at Seba Beach. Seba Beach is a approximately forty five minute drive west of Edmonton, Alberta. It is was a beautiful fall drive. We observed varying fall colors, with miles of rolling hills and vast farm lands. It occurred to me as I drove, how beautiful and picturesque it was. I live in Ontario, have been for the last sixteen years, and have been known to describe the maple trees in the fall as brilliant red and more beautiful than anything we would experience in Alberta. But as I drove and looked at the amazing fall foliage, I had to admit, that this too, is absolutely as beautiful as any fall I've witnessed in Ontario.

The occasion was my brother-in-law's sixtieth birthday.

As someone who enjoys planning, I ensured that my sister knew of my business trip, and she planned the party to coincide with my trip. My son and I went together, as it is the few times he can play with his cousins. No doubt it is absolutely true that picnics are fun, one takes great pleasure in all the details, traveling, picking the right gift, the anticipation and presentation of food, and most of all the people at the picnic. Tell me, who does not enjoy a picnic? Don't you agree that everything about going on a picnic is incredibly fun?

Indeed, this picnic did not disappoint. As soon as I entered the house a whiff of freshly baked bannock engulfed my nose and went straight to the core of my belly. The husband / chef was at the BBq paying close attention to food preparations. Plenty of friends and relatives, kept the conversations light and funny. Including a brief hilarious distraction when two of the farm animals made a daring escape. Watching men trying to get animals back into their pen, especially a donkey and a goat is indeed a laughing matter. I mean, after the fact.

Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh said often don't wait to enjoy your picnic. Don't put off your picnic. Your life can be a picnic by living mindfully in the present.

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