the richness of our lives
On an ordinary summer evening in July of 2003, my family and I set out for a walk after dinner. Our two older children decided they wanted to take their bikes. My husband strapped our baby to the carrier on his chest. She kicked her legs and waved her arms in excitement as we called our dog to join us. He was a sweet, black and white husky with one ice blue eye and the other green. The baby and the wolf. She watched him and laughed the entirety of our walk. Every now and then her sisters would weave around us on their bikes and that would be enough to divert her attention from the dog for a moment or two.
At that time we were living on a military base with an aircraft hangar directly across the road from us. The part of the base we were living on was slated for demolition. The military housing was to be torn down to make way for more military buildings so we were the last of the last. We lived in a lovely three story home with only fields and a lake near. Not a single neighbour to be seen. Our address, one you don’t forget, was 8 Beaver. A source of great entertainment for all visitors or when having to share the address with others, “Yes, seriously, eight beaver”.
I remember this walk so well because I was so fully there for it. My husband had just returned from time away. He had started his new position as Team Captain with Canada’s national military parachute demonstration team. He was gone a great deal of time training and putting on shows. But he was home that day and everyone was happy. Our home felt settled. The weather was calm and warm, but not oppressive. A rarity in the summer in our part of the world. Our two older daughters were coming up with dance moves on their bikes and we walked with the lake to our left and the fields and forests to our right. It was all ours.
There was a time in our walk when we stopped to talk before turning to head back home. The setting sun illuminated the side of my handsome man’s face and that of our little baby girl, Mila, on his chest. I could only stop and witness what I was being given. This gorgeous young man, strong and vibrant with his chiseled profile only a few inches above this soft, round, chubby little baby - so helpless and innocent. He so capable. Her so safe. Both of them enshrined by the warmth and love of the glowing sun. “Remember this.” It was an order to my brain. And so I took a picture, I froze that moment in its wholeness and instructed my soul to hold onto it forever.
That picture remains. As vivid and more meaningful than any I could have taken with a machine. It’s always there. It comes to me in four dimensions, not the flat, one