The beavers have been busy. Last fall, they chopped down over 50 trees along the riverbank for their lodge upriver.
Recently, they started working on the trees again.
Yesterday, as I walked the path along the river, I saw a city Parks & Rec truck driving towards me on the trail. Two women and their dogs stepped aside and let the truck pass.
When the truck got to me, the driver slowed down, stopped, rolled down his window and said, “What a beautiful dog!”
Beaumont did a little dance, (I swear that dog speaks English) I thanked him, we chatted for a few seconds, he drove away and I continued walking towards the two women who now had their dogs on leashes. As we passed each other, one woman asked me, “Are they giving out tickets?”
This park is an ‘unofficial’ off leash area. In conversation with our City Councillors office, I’ve been told its formal designation is pending a report on the entire rivers area. Ticketing, while possible, is not part of the ‘plan’.
I gave a startled laugh and replied, “Oh no. He just stopped to chat.”
“Oh good,” the woman replied. “I can let my dog off leash.”
I smiled and without conscious thought, reached out and gave her shoulder a reassuring tap with my gloved hand. “Absolutely,” I replied.
And then I realized what I’d done.
“Oh no,” I said from a safe distance. “I apologize. I didn’t mean to touch you!”
The women both turned to me, surprised looks on their faces. One woman held up both her hands, waved them in the air and said, “It’s okay. We’ve all got gloves on.”
The other woman laughed and said, “But be careful. You could get ticketed for touching.”
I laughed back and replied, “Now that would be a touching ticket!”
And we went our separate ways.
It is here. This consciousness. Awareness. Hyper-vigilance. It is here.
And it’s good to laugh. To tease each other. And to stay conscious of protocols that protect us.
I touched a woman’s shoulder yesterday. It is my intuitive reaction to someone else’s worry, concern, dismay.
In these days of Covid, it is not the thing to do. Even when wearing gloves.
It is good we could laugh.
It is good I remember to hold back my normal social responses in favour of social distancing.
It is all good.
On another note, the Parks Team have been busy erecting chicken wire fences around the trunks of the trees that line the river in an attempt to keep them safe from busy beavers.
Those fences, like social distancing, are erected as a barrier against harm. They keep trees safe from nature’s natural nature to do what it must to survive, to evolve, to transform, to create.
Social distancing is our invisible fence. Let’s keep it strong so we stay standing in good health and vibrancy.