(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)

(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)

Thank goodness for the weekend

The past week was one that weighed a bit heavily on my soul and served as a reminder that we live in a world often wrought with turmoil, cruelty and heartache.

I reflected quite a bit on those thoughts, but ultimately what helped lift my mood was getting outside, enjoying time immersed in nature and my family. Thank goodness for the weekend!

With the weather warming up, in recent weeks we’ve taken the opportunity to hike a loop at J.J. Collett, hit the splash park, walked the trail around Lacombe Lake a few weeks back, and this weekend, we got the canoe out for the first time this year.

The rain during the early evening delayed our excursion, but we passed the time indoors playing games together and a short dance party, before having a picnic-style dinner of ribs and grilled cheese sandwiches, fruits and veggies inside with our portable table while watching a classic Disney movie.

It was late for preschooler-standards before we were able to head out, but hey, it was the weekend, and the sights that met us were well worth the wait.

We found a quiet, little-known spot on the Battle River with a gentle current and headed out. The cooling air made mist rise off the still-warm water, setting an atmosphere of mystery and excitement, as we spied ducks, muskrats and even a family of beavers through the vapours when we were almost upon them.

Showing little fear of their visitors, we got quite close and some seemed curious of our passing canoe, however, a male beaver made a point of keeping his eye on us and giving a few warning slaps of his tail, letting us know we were in his territory.

We were treated to a spectacular view on the return journey, with the mist continuing to waft gently across the water, and the setting sun painted the clouds in golden, pink and mauve tones, reflected perfectly on the clear glass-like surface of the water.

The experience served to renew the spirit and was a reminder there are still good things worth doing, seeing and enjoying.

Some worry set back in however, as the eerie cries of coyotes began to chime in, and a chorus began, perhaps signalling to each other that food had been found.

It was time for us to paddle a bit more in earnest to return to shore and leave the creatures of the river valley to their nighttime activities, as the last of the light disappeared below the horizon.

We’ve called Ponoka home for over five years now, and as we head out to explore the area, discovering even more gems and favourite spots each time, we get to love the town and what the area has to offer, even more.

Here’s to whatever helps you decompress and brings solace to your soul, whether it’s getting out and enjoying nature, reading a good book or confiding in a friend. Take care.