I hope that your day thus far was filled with blessings, bunnies, bonnets and much joy. I took advantage of the beautiful weather, and headed to my favorite place in the world – Council Point Park, earlier today. I stepped out, on a still-chilly morn, with no fancy Easter bonnet, just my warm, woolen hat that I’ve worn all Winter, and, though I was tempted to stick an artificial flower into the open weave of the woolen fibers for this Easter Sunday, I did not do so. I did don a pastel pink sweat suit lending a small air of Springiness to my duds, and yes, I was stylin’ for sure in my own way on this picture-perfect day.
I arrived at Council Point Park in record time, then strolled leisurely along the pathway figuring I’d just immerse myself in the ambiance of twitters while I frittered away an hour or so of my Easter morning. It was so peaceful, and there were just a handful of walkers and no joggers or bikers, so I figured that most of the regular crowd was at Easter Sunday services. Just as that revelation hit me, and as if on cue, bells began peeling at the church about ½ mile away from the Park. In the still morn, with only the cacophony of birdsong filling the air, the church bells sounded crisp and clear beckoning “come one, come all to celebrate the miracle of Easter with us” … the bells seemed like they rang for five or ten minutes signifying the start of the 9:00 o’clock service. There was no denying that Spring and Easter have finally arrived since people have decorated the many memorial trees that are scattered around the Park’s vast grounds. I have mentioned before that anyone can purchase a tree, and a memorial stone that is placed at the base of the tree, to honor a deceased loved one. Often these memorial trees are decorated for holidays or special occasions, like birthdays, where occasionally a brightly colored birthday balloon will be found tethered to a branch of the tree. Many people have “planted” artificial flowers, placed Easter ornaments – religious or otherwise – or fastened Spring-y wreaths to the front of these trees.
It seems the critter population at the Park was similarly occupied elsewhere this morning. A few of the faithful and ever-present peanut pals came sniffing around, then sat up on haunches and begged as I reached into my bag of peanuts. I tossed out a few here and there and saw spent peanut shells still strewn on the path from yesterday’s trip. Like the past few days, after dispensing some treats, I then led the procession of a few fox squirrels, trailing along behind me and occasionally dashing into my path, always hopeful for another treat to squirrel away for a rainy day. Once again, the ducks were absent from their usual spot and I didn’t see any in the water or marshy banks of the Ecorse Creek either. Even the geese were reverent of this special day and hung out elsewhere and were not honking in their usual, sometimes obnoxious, manner. I watched several bunnies bouncing around in the grass, searching for sweet, tender grass shoots or non-existent clover, and after they could find none, they hopped off quickly as I approached. I decided when I returned home and did today’s post, I would use a black-and-white photo of my pet rabbit I had some fifty years ago. My grandmother grew up on a farm in rural Aris, a town near Guelph, Ontario. She was one of nine children. The girls were all married off to boys in town and the boys left the nest to start their own farms. Such was the case with Bill Klein, who was my Great Uncle. When I was about seven years old, we took my grandmother up to his farm for a visit, and we all spent the day there. He was gruff, and handed me a baby bunny and said “here, you can make this guy into a pet” and so we left with a bushel basket, some straw and some type of rabbit kibble. I named this pure-white rabbit “Scratch”. We had to get him special food and cedar shavings for the basket and he lived in the basement and was not allowed upstairs. After a few months, my parents said it wasn’t fair to confine him to a small bushel basket in the basement by himself, and he should be returned to the farm where he could be with the other rabbits and not cooped up all the time. Reluctantly I agreed. We travelled to Aris and returned Scratch to the farm the following Sunday, and my eyes misted over when Uncle Bill hastily grabbed him by the ears, plucking him right from my arms, and said “well, I guess I’ll find some use for your rabbit here – I dunno what yet” … I remember that I prayed all the way home that Scratch would not meet his fate in the cast iron cooking pot with some potatoes and vegetables as a tasty rabbit stew. We never returned to the farm after that day so I don’t know what ever became of my little pet, but I am glad I have this picture of Scratch sitting in my lap in our backyard to remember him.
It was a beautiful and satisfying journey this morning and I was thankful for small blessings – beautiful weather, a pretty park and my good health which gives me the ability to enjoy both. While others oohed and ahhed over sugary confections or chocolate novelties, I had all the “sweet tweets” I could have wanted as I ambled along the walking path during my trip to Council Point Park this morning. Happy trails … happy heart … happy soul.