We’ve all been up longer than Mr. Bear so let’s do our part.
So this is interesting. The leadership in Banff showed their caring and strength by asking people to stay home and not visit. This from a town that is built on and relies deeply upon tourism. So far people are respecting that and a curious thing is happening. The animals are taking back place. Cougars, packs of coyotes and herds of elk and deer are roaming the streets. As we push into spring it will only be a matter of time until the bears join the fray.
Thank you everyone, for respecting, abiding by and promoting staying at home. And when you must go out, please don’t be like these wolves, give others space. It’s for the health of all of us.
So, I decided to take the hound for a run and due to the fact that I know the beasties are out, I strapped on my bear spray. We’ve had a good season of snow so the back gate that separates our property and the forest can only open about a 1/4 of the way due to packed in snow and ice. It’s not such a big deal, I just have to squeeze my body at the right angle to get through. Except on this occasion, I didn’t do it quite right. Mid-squeeze I was shocked to hear a loud and pronounced “HIIISSSSSSS” emanating behind me. There was a brief moment where time stopped. I stood there, squashed between fence pole and gate door, one leg up thinking to myself, “Is what I think happening really happening?” It was.
My left butt cheek was on fire.
With Olympic calibre speed I sprinted to the house, threw off the bear spray and belt and peeled off all my bottom layers – much to the surprise of my son who stood agape. I could feel the the heat intensifying as I raced passed him saying “The bear spray exploded on my ass!”. Naturally I did all the wrong things – rubbed water on it instead of misting whole milk (who knew? I know now…), lost track of what my hand had touched when ripping off my infected clothes and only realized as I wiped sweat from my brow and left eye – which now also burned, albeit less intensely. A raging orange welt of capiscum (a waxlike extract of hot pepper) tattooed my cheek and the burn was unrelenting for an hour. It’s still slightly raw. And that’s through two layers of fabric (which I now have to clean with gloves, cold cream and much soaking). I couldn’t begin to imagine the pain of getting a shot of that in the face.
Today may not feel much different than yesterday but perhaps we can all drop the schedules and connect in a way that conjures up some of that weekend magic. Be well.
Two metres. Six feet six inches. These are numbers we understand in a literal sense but when we’re asked to keep that distance apart I like the idea of associating a visual with it. So, keep a fridge, a cow, Michael Jordan between yourself and someone else. Social distancing – sorted.
So, how goes your journaling?
Emotions are hard to sort out at the best of times. In today’s new reality it’s even harder. Give your kids a hug. Listen. They need us now more than ever.
I can’t imagine being a student these days. The pressure to exceed in school, athletics, the arts, with friends, online… it’s overwhelming just being a parent of a student.
I worked hard at school. Marks mattered to me. My mom used to say, “Jase, you’ve got to slow down sometimes and smell the roses.” She was right, but I still do struggle with this today. I’m hoping to pass on as few neuroses to my children as possible, so we effusively cajoled our daughter to take a break from exam studying and breathe in the mountain air, feel the rush of snow beneath her skis and just play. It’s something we all as a society seem to do less of these days. It’s perceived as a bad thing. A waste of time. As our teens navigate the realities of growing up, I believe it’s our duty as parents to show them that playtime is what will make them more creative, better thinkers, fitter, brighter and perhaps most importantly, happier.
So yeah, take a break. Whatever you’re working on will be there when you get back.