by Jerry Katz
This visit was my second time walking the paths of Shubie Park in Nova Scotia. It could have been my thousandth. I don’t chase nature. I’m happy to visit the same place in all seasons, in all kinds of weather, at different times of the day. I know the sky, the waters, air, and landscape will deliver endless variety.
It was a gray, chilly early December day with spurts of icy rain and sleet. I like that. I don’t want the weather to remind me of my room. I never feel bad outdoors.
My goal was to leave the main paths and find spots the solitary-at-heart would love.
Birches line the straight path like flagposts. If you look, you’ll find the flag of your country. By country, I mean the texture of your solitude.
Straight unwavering walkways are easy but unnatural. I like paths that bend and turn, climb and dip over craggy terrain.
Walking off the main path, I came to a creek. At once, I realized that more direct than a straight road to a parking lot is a rough winding creek.
The waters of a creek are like light flowing into a lake. I stumbled upon a scene that was an adjustment for an unbalanced psyche.
Further on, the straight, paved path turned into water:
I came to a bend in the path. How adventurous, hopeful, and promising is a modest curve.
I found the main path leading back to the parking lot. On the way, I noticed a bench and, alongside it, a thin birch. The pairing seemed as intimate as twins.
I saw that the world and I are being born at the same time, pulsed forth by darkness.
Having shared a thin glimpse of a newly born world, I returned to everyday life and the darkness massively hidden by Western culture. Not for long, though.