I had my packed lunch and thermos of coffee--and there was no rush to get home. I parked my car, refilled my coffee cup and headed for a park bench. While I ate, people passed on bikes, on foot, in a wheelchair and on skateboards. I just enjoyed being still, enjoying the view, breathing in the fresh air and feeling the warmth of the sun.
Only 6 days before, Brenda had run that 10 k race in a snowstorm! In Canada we go directly from winter to summer. :)
It wasn't long before I was back on the road home, with lots of day still ahead. Brenda had made reservations for the two of us at 5.30 an Italian restaurant in Newmarket, called Spero; which means, "I hope."
We had the most delicious "zuppa"--tomato soup with goat's cheese that was so rich and flavourful. We dipped our assortment of breads in olive oils and a tapinade.
After the soup we each chose a different "salata." Mine was decadent! Arugula topped with pan seared pears and caramelized pecans. Every morsel was exquisitely tasty.
We deliberately chose to have only soup and salad, so that we would have room for dessert and we both could not resist the chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, with a cup of coffee to finish. I was completely spoiled!
We decided then to drive to Mount Albert where Brenda and Kevin have just bought a home. She wanted to see the "sold" sign on the lawn, and I had not seen the house yet.
As we headed east though, both of us had the same thought at the same moment. We were passing too close to our old home of 30 years ago, Maple Wood Lodge, where we spent some of the happiest years of our lives with a group of men with developmental disabilities. The house has been pulled down, but the land is still not built on. Brenda loved that place.
The sun had not gone down yet as we pulled into the old driveway. The lilac bushes bowed beneath the weight of abundant blooms, and their intoxicating fragrance encircled us, bringing back memories of the nine Mays we spent there. Happy, happy days.
Brenda walked around this island of undeveloped land, surrounded now by large homes and sporting facilities, and we remembered how each morning the mist used to rise up from the fields, and the magic of the place. She touched the trees she used to climb and said that they felt to her like old friends.
We traced the foundations of the old house, and looked at the names in the small pioneer cemetery, belonging to the Stephens family, the United Empire Loyalists to whom the land was originally given.
And then, across rolling farmland, we drove to Mount Albert and Brenda's new home as of the end of July. A home that she has said more than once, is the kind that, "Omie would have loved." It is cozy, just big enough!
Seasons of life, celebrated all in one day. One perfect day.