The best things in life are free
The best things in life are free. That idea is often obscured as we are constantly driven to make money, amass riches, and acquire the latest app that we can gloat about. Sure, we need money to pay the bills. But occasionally, moments arise when we can derive simple pleasure from serendipity, happenstance or just plain good luck.
For example, the long days allow for lengthy, leisurely walks where one can amble along a country lane, to watch birds and take in the fresh air, slightly tinged with scents of wild roses, freshly-cut haylage and chemical pesticide residue.
A wonderful blend of the familiar and the unexpected, an outing at this time of year presents opportunities to come across various species of flora and fauna. We are accustomed to spotting fleet-footed deer, which, like humans, exhibit various personality traits. Some disappear in the blink of an eye while others are nonplussed, standing in fields or in ditches, apparently wondering about the origins of these strange twolegged creatures that are so annoying.
The ubiquitous wild turkey can be real show-offs. Those toms are rightfully proud of their plumage.
Bonus sightings at this time of year are glimpses of bobolinks, which require the perfect conditions to nest, and turtles, which show a propensity for stopping in the middle of roads.
As crops grow so fast their progress is almost audible, unwanted vegetation is also flourishing. Poison parsnip has become a scourge, seemingly defying all attempts to slow its advance.
We know that we must approach all ditches and shoulders with caution. However, exploration can have its rewards.
For instance, a close examination of roadside foliage can result in the discovery of ruby wild strawberries, which seem to taste even sweeter because they somehow have managed to grow amidst the weeds, only centimetres away from the graded surface of a gravel road. Ah, the joys of summer, and unscheduled foraging. Summer, that most glorious and shortest of our seasons, has officially arrived now that the end of another school year has been marked by shrieks of joy unleashed by children, and groans of anxiety by parents who struggle to find ways to keep the little darlings amused for two more months.
We have ample opportunities to keep ourselves entertained throughout the warm months. Every summer weekend, and many evenings, Glengarry plays hosts to a plethora of fairs, concerts, festivals, exhibitions, in addition to the regular offerings of community activities that are held throughout the year. Every week this newspaper is full of coming events and things to do.
If you are not into structured activities, the area has trails, parks and beaches where lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer can be enjoyed.
Remember that people do not stop playing because they grow old. They grow old because they stop playing. Or as they also say, youth is wasted on the young. We could all benefit from a temporary departure from our adult routines. The remedy to most of our real and imagined woes is simple.
Go play outside, stare at a cloud, try to keep pace with a nervous muskrat, stop and smell a wild rose.
And who knows? You might uncover a gem, like a strawberry amongst the weeds.