The mornings were cool, but the days were warm and sunny. The weekend stretched out before us, open and clear, beckoning us to fill it with beautiful vistas, lazy swims in the shallow water, naps in the sunlight, sunbathing with a good book, canoe paddles across quiet lakes, and hikes up hills to the tops of cliffs.
Our weekend was spent at Bon Echo, approximately three hours from Toronto. The first, third, and fourth nights were quiet and dark, our campfire providing the only light we could see at times. The second night? The park filled up with partying university students who sang loudly, badly, until well after midnight.
During the day, we explored the park, took Mocha swimming in the cool water. The dog beach – and the main beach, as we later discovered – was shallow with a gradual slope. As we waded in, she waded after us until she was swimming, frantic to not be left behind. She swam everywhere after us. Later, when we canoed across to a trail on the other side of the lake, she chose to swim with me as I swam the 1/4 of a kilometer back. She leapt out of the canoe, anxious to make sure the swimmers were ok, as if she, with 20 pounds of puppy could do anything to save us.
I had never jumped off anything higher than a diving board before this. In the grand scheme of things, this was nothing. 10 feet, maybe. And yet, each jump was exhilarating. I’m generally nervous about these kinds of things; pushing my feet off the rock, knowing the water waited below to greet me, I moved past the fear of what hidden thing may lie below, embraced the moment and flung myself into a dark unknown.
Home now. I wish for nothing more than to go back, for a week or two or a month.
Yes, a month of rock jumping, swimming, sunbathing, reading, campfires, and friends.