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Friday 4 August 2023

Fieldwork - Beach Day!

A friend texted me, "So are you enjoying your summer?"

There was a long pause. 

I had to step back in my mind. Summers are a time for work. Yardwork. Gardening. Production. The children are out of school. We could never afford to travel and I still have never taken a vacation or 'summer holidays'. I'd run my kids to the river or a nearby lake but with three little ones, it was work: packing food and water and juggling a child with aspergers and one kid loves to be in the top of a tree while another loves the water while the other is terrified of bugs. Add to that, I simply cannot tolerate heat.

What was the question? Am I enjoying my summer.

Do I ever, really? I enjoy fall and winter. She was still waiting for my answer. "Have you been taking off to the your cabin? So lucky!" If you know me, I don't answer with small talk. I answer with honest responses. So I replied, "When I work enough to be able to take days off to get out there, we go out there to work on the building." There's still no power, no running water, no walls... lol. A shit tonne of yard work.

It was Thusday. The forecast was 35C. It ended up being 37C. I was booked to work the Youth Drop in at the Art Museum in the afternoon, which was perfect since my rental has only the little air conditioner I bought.

I asked myself, "So Monika? Am I enjoying my summer?" So far, I'm navigating around research and making sure I have clean black socks for my next shift. Let the dog out. Let the dog in. Water the garden. Scoop poop. Weed the garden. What day is it? Did I miss the garbage truck? Pick the beans. Is there enough dirty clothes to do a load of laundry? What will I cook tonight to make sure everyone is fed? I mean, I don't hate my summer. But I'm navigating through. I'm not enjoying. It's just same old, same old. The mail carrier came. Is that a bill or a payment?

Fuck it. I can't wait around for someone to come ask me to play. So I know that my favourite way to enjoy summer is to swim in the river, I did just that. I packed up my camera, blanket, water for me and the dog, put sunscreen on my nose and by 10 am I WAS ENJOYING SUMMER.

South Saskatchewan River, me, summer.

There were other people out there (you can see someone on the island there) and a family back in the other direction. In a few spots, you can walk across at only knee deep. Basically, if you can't see the bottom, you don't go there. The current is fast. Here in this part, there are so many sand bars / islands and contained pools of water, it's really quite a lovely spot. Buddy and I played and swam for a good hour.

I remember taking my kids to the river one evening in the city to cool off. The sun was setting and I was trying to convince my kids it was time to leave. An older woman came to the spot where we were, said hello, and got in. She swam back and forth very slowly a couple times and then got out again. I asked her, "do you come here often?" She told me she gets into the river every day she can. I'll never forget her. I wonder what was holding me back from enjoying a swim all by myself.

Well. I've had enough of that. I'm swimming whenever I can.

I'm not used to having time for me. This is a new thing. Instead of work to be able to play, I'm going to start playing to be able to work. Be curious so I can work. Relax so I can work. Rejuvenate so I can work. Not the other way around. It doesn't work the other way around. 

After some sun, wind, sand, and water, my head was clear, my heart was beating and my spirit was enjoying. Here's some lovelies I captured while out there. More roots!!

I'm standing at the low river's edge, facing the first bank.

If you look behind, you can see a row of trees in the distance in the photo above. Those trees are sitting up on a higher cliff with the face also exposed like this one.

view upstream

The roots from the plants above run all the way down and are exposed at the water level. It's so amazing to see!

Then walking around up on top, I took more photos.

I'm so glad I looked or I would have never noticed these. Blooms? I'll have to go back in a few days to see what becomes of these.

And there were these little wee things also. I thought they were pretty.

a cluster of something (?)

OH! PSA In Canada, there's a program right now that's time sensitive. The Nature Conservancy of Canada is asking for your photos of plant, animal, bird and insect species. You can sign up and upload so that they can get a literal snapshot of the species across the country. Brilliant really. 

I'm doin' it! xo
~Monika K.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I loved this......lol......so glad you're finally trying to take some time for YOU!! Enjoy it! xo

Edda said...

Hey......I didn't want my post to be anonymous!!! LOL It's me, Edda

Lin said...

Sounds like it was about time you took some time for yourself! Glad you enjoyed the swim and some great finds along the bank. xx

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