Trans Canada Trail on a Sunday morning. Just before the heat sets in. Contemplating an exquisite line from the Tao Te Ching. Slap. Crushing deer flies on my neck. Toss a stick, then a stone and another into the pond for the dog. She swims circles, looks up for more but I’ve already climbed the bank and carried on.
“Just realize where you come from, this is the essence of wisdom.”*
Bones of a large rodent at the edge of the grass. We pass a small monarch. Black and orange flutter in the branches.
Trains used to travel where we’re walking. Earlier in the week I met an older gentleman on a different trail. He was driving a rusty three wheeler he bought new in 1985 before they were outlawed. Born and grew up at “the station” and never really left. He recalled a time without dam, causeway or big industry when his dad and uncles fished all the way up the river. Talked about eating flounder, building trusses and square dancing. Perhaps my wife and I might be interested in square dancing? Sylvester Station remains as a cluster of houses, but the old line runs directly into the water now. Disappears. Remerges somewhere in the alder further down the shore. A trace among animal paths.
We come across the butterfly again on our way back. She’s lovely and stays with us for a good stretch. Wingstroke and drifts along. Sets upon the path, a stalk of grass, branch or hanging bough. Waits and carries on. Finally she turns and I stand for a long time, watching until she disappears.
* Tao Te Ching, A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell