If you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing changed at all …

The Trading Post, Sauble Beach, Ontario, Canada - at sunset

The Trading Post, Sauble Beach, Ontario, Canada – at sunset

 

For many years, my daughters and I have spent one week, each July, with friends, in the loft of The Trading Post at Sauble Beach, Ontario, Canada. It is something we always looked forward to ~ and we always fully enjoyed.

This year, only my youngest daughter, aged 17, was able to stay for the full week; I drove her there, stayed 1.5 days and then left to return home to work.

Lake Huron, Sauble Beach

Lake Huron, Sauble Beach

In the short time I was there, I felt a beautiful connection to past times spent in this location. I’d watch a group of families, adults and children, enjoy an exciting game of baseball on the beach – and I’d vividly recall the after-dinner-before-sunset games of soccer that would take place immediately next to where they now played on the beach, as adults and our children, years ago.

Giraffe Sand Sculpture

Giraffe Sand Sculpture

 

I’d smile at the young family in a nearby cottage with two young daughters – and remember with fondness my own girls at that age, their awe at the beach, the waves, the days in the sun spent with their friends, how well they slept each night and how excited they were when they woke up the next day.

My friends and I talked about where we are today – how much has changed, what vacations here were like for us then and how they are for us now. We did not lament the passing of time, but we did feel grateful for the ghosts of our past that still roamed the beach, in our hearts.

 

 

 

Hi Mom, I’m okay – we’re all okay. There’s a fire. The Trading Post is on fire.

My daughter’s week in Sauble Beach was scheduled to end on Saturday, I was going to meet her and my friends at a pick-up point on their route to their own home. That all changed with her phone call, the Friday night before she was due to leave. ”

Campfire, Sauble Beach

Campfire, Sauble Beach

Hi Mom, I’m okay – we’re all okay. There’s a fire. The Trading Post is on fire. We’re on our way to another cottage further away. It got so big, so fast. They fear that propane tanks and fireworks in the store below may blow …”

And just like that – The Trading Post was destroyed; store and loft alike. So, too, was everything within – all possessions, all food, everything but what my friends and daughter had on them when the fire was first discovered.

Dusk at The Trading Post, 4 nights before the fire; almost an eerie premonition in retrospect, clouds like smoke slowly advancing.

Dusk at The Trading Post, 4 nights before the fire; almost an eerie premonition in retrospect, clouds like smoke slowly advancing.

The memories though, the ghosts of time past and the warm feelings they trigger – well, those still remain; they’ll be with us until we are no longer capable of accessing them.

And so it is with Life – we keep moving through it, reminded along the way that Life is dynamic in nature, fueled by change; and the only place where some things forever remain the same, is in our memories and in our hearts.

 

8 Comments

  1. Oh that’s so heart wrenching to lose these pieces of our personal history. I’m glad nobody was heart but no doubt, hearts were broken in this sad process.

    One of my favourite photos of my son (now 27) was as a 15 month old, sitting in the sand, right at the waters edge, little fists to his chest in anticipation of the next gentle wave coming in to hit him. That was at Sauble Beach.

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    Reply:

    Hilary – thank you so much for letting me know you were here. So many hearts were heavy after this event, more than I can probably even imagine. There were such fantastic students working at the Trading Post each summer – now, without employment. But to your point, no one was hurt – and THAT is a blessing.

    Isn’t it amazing how we can look at our children and still see the Inner Child within them? Time is a funny thing – the way we can wander in and out of it.

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  2. Beth

    You know, I feel exactly that as well…but I’ve sort of decided to pick up my life where I left off before I got married and had kids. Since it’s not all about work, I am going to concentrate on reading and travel, helping others and rediscover my hubby. I feel that the best thing I can be is an example to my kids about how to age gracefully. Wish me luck! That’s work!

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    Reply:

    I don’t need to wish you luck Beth – you’re WELL on your way. Goodness, you’re an inspiration to many – wise, funny, intelligent and with a heart that holds so much compassion for others.You’re a healer too! I like your future goals – and it will do your heart and soul good to continue pursuing them.

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  3. I’m so glad your daughter and friends weren’t hurt, and that you were able to spend a few days there one last time. I’m so grateful for those ghosts of memories that help us hang on to the wonderful times in our lives, so that even as everything changes, some things remain the same.

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    Reply:

    Gosh, it’s good to see you Barbara. My heart is so connected to yours in this sense – you have been so beautifully inspiring the way you find, and share, joy and beauty while holding family connections dear. With the intent in our hearts – there’s little we can’t accomplish. And yes, thank goodness for the ghosts.

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  4. Beth

    I’m glad no one was hurt. Funny how when something physically is destroyed, you can move on better. It’s painful, but helps the letting go. Beautiful pictures. Like yours, our children are growing up and away, like lovely balloons that you blow up to thrill the heart and then get loose and leave you behind. Great blogpost.

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    Reply:

    Thank you Beth – for being here and for commenting. It is a funny time of life. I’m so proud of them, so excited to bear witness to the paths they will choose and travel, and the experiences they will partake in. At the same time, it forces reflection on my part – where do I go from here; if not today, in the tomorrows that will be void as they move more fully into their lives with independence and anticipation? A pivotal time for all of us really.

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