I'm back! I ran out of time last week before we left, to post and say I was taking a mini-vacation to our favourite place in Canada: Picton, Ontario, on the world's largest fresh-water island, and the Sandbanks National Park. The best beaches and water for swimming in Canada, if not much of the Northern Hemisphere. So, last Thursday we left on the train, and where we went had no computer, no telephone, a radio, and a tv with 3 channels and no working dvd player. It was heaven. It was bliss. My sister-in-law's cottage overlooks the Bay of Quinte and is on the water's edge, so every morning we could go down to the dock and be near water. I'm not sure what it is about water that calms me, but it does. The cottage we stayed at is not in Picton (town of 4,000 people) itself, but out in the countryside of the island, so we had little traffic, little noise, only a row of mixed cottages and homes in a row overlooking the water. I know I'm lucky to live by Britannia Park here in Ottawa, and can escape there as often as I can. After a while though, I have to leave the city. I need a change of scenery to refresh myself, to feel rejuvenated. Actually, I need time to read, to feel rejuvenated, and that's all the time!!! Leaving the city, traveling, also helps wake me up. I have always enjoyed going somewhere, and Picton is our destination of choice. My sister-in-law and niece live there, so luckily we have a place to stay, and great family to visit, and we have a wonderful time. This time was the same, we had a very good visit, and the children came away wanting to go back as soon as possible. They survived without tv, vcr, and X-box! And since I didn't want much noise, we wanted to hear silence and the water on the shore and the wind in the trees, we rarely had the radio on. I could, at the quietest times, get a sense of the quieter rhythms of the earth that it is so difficult to hear in the city. That sense of eternal time, of being in a more gentle pace, of hearing the space between the waves, of the motion of the earth - that is what I found this time, as I do every time I visit there. So I didn't get much reading done, but I found what I had been missing, and I think the less frequent posts in May, June and July were showing how out of tune I was getting with myself.
However, I did visit the only bookstore in Picton!! Of course I did! And luckily a thunderstorm was overhead so no one complained about the time spent there! I only found two books to come home with me: In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead by James Lee Burke, and Sylvia Townsend Warner's In the Kingdom of Elfin. Both are books I have been looking for. I could have bought a few more, but my husband was watching books for the kids pile up - they each had chosen one and we'd found a box of stickers for the trip home - so I had to think about luggage and restrained myself.
Best of all, I heard a loon call twice on this trip. The first time I could hardly believe it, as it has been years since I last heard one in the wild. Then it came again, yesterday morning, and I saw it diving for fish out beyond the dock. I tried to get a picture, but of course, in the way of the wild, as soon as I got my camera out it vanished. For those of you who don't know, loons are only heard in the wild, on lakes, here in Canada, and they usually call before it rains. Sure enough, we had rain - and another thunderstorm - last night.
So, I'm back. And, as the header suggests.....England is next. We're going at Christmas! so all my bloggers in the UK, if you are going to be around London over the holidays, drop me a line, I'd love to meet you. I'll be on Charing Cross Road as often as I can!! (Rhinoa, Ann, Bride, Geraniumcat, Mariel, this is particularly meant for you) We're going mid-December, in time for the Christmas rush, and coming home in early January. My daughter cries once a week because we aren't there yet; her birthday is Dec 24 so she gets to have her birthday there with her grandparents and she can't wait! My mother-in-law is crossing the days off the calendar; she can't wait! All this is to say, we couldn't take a longer vacation in Picton because most of our holidays are being used for Christmas instead. So this really was a mini-vacation, to get us through to then!!
Before I go, I want to ask a question: for all of you out there who read to relax, do you find that if you don't have time to read on a vacation, that something is missing? Do you miss reading if you don't have the time, when on vacation? Do you take too many books on holiday? Or plan to buy a book wherever you are? I always take too many books, and I always buy some when on vacation. The best vacation for me includes time to read. Vacations have to, since that is the best part of my day, every day: reading. That's when I know all is right with my world, that I have time to read.
Happy reading tonight! Now, I'm going to go read while there are a few hours left on this mini-vacation.....