• Lara

Books Are Not Just For Reading at Renfrew Park.

Updated: May 19, 2020

It took me 2 years to finish one book. Not for lack of interest, but rather, because I needed a tangible life raft to last me that long. The book, gifted to me by the author Talena was hardcover. This seemed like the perfect firm thing to hold on to when I needed grounding.

The title couldn't have been more fitting as I transitioned from my entrepreneurial life in Northern Alberta to a child- focused life by the sea in Vancouver. I've moved more times than I can count, or even want to count, but never before had I moved to a place I had always dreamed of living. British Columbia felt too good to be true. I felt it wouldn't last. Heaven, perhaps, was just a dream. When would I wake? It took me two years to believe I had actually found my tangible heaven to raise my children. And I continue to be reminded of this heaven in the most unexpected places. I carried the book with me to each place for two years.

Just last week we went to one of our secret spots. Renfrew Community Park. A place I had stumbled upon a year ago when I couldn't find parking in front of our local library.I drove around to the back. It wasn't something I had done before, but it was clearly divine intervention for me to drive around. Once parked, I had to walk down stairs from the back parking lot where the off-leash dog park could be accessed, through a forest trail to the library doors. The forest trail was such a surprise it took my breath away.

I crossed over a short bridge and stopped to marvel at how this gem had been hiding behind a building I had visited weekly for a full year and never known. The sounds of birds squawking interspersed with dogs barking and water running filled the air.

I could tell by the size of the old tree stumps that this forest had a long history. My children are always lured by the desire to climb them.

I was dumbfounded by this living sculpture made of Oyster Mushroom mycelium and beeswax. The creation was inspired by the legendary squatter named Ted Twetie who lived over 105 years in the Renfrew Ravine.

This forest trail is a quiet spot to go with a book. Benches are sprinkled in the quietest of places for the pensive soul. In my case I'm always armed with a blue tarp. It is wide enough for me and the three kids to sit on for lunch, creates a perfect barrier from wet surfaces or loose earth, and also serves as a wonderful invitation to have some one on one conversations with each child as they take turns touching base with me, their anchor.

Although we didn't see any wood peckers, it was clear by the holes in the trees, that they frequent this area. We did get to watch what looked like a hawk and two crows in a battle in the air and when we followed them, we discovered another part of the park we didn't know existed.

Denzel accepted the universe's invitation to leap from boulder to boulder.

Jazlyn and G found their happiness in a puddle with some cups I had brought along.

If you are looking for a secret spot, perfect for children to build forts, and perfect for also just sitting still. Look no further than behind the Renfrew Library. When it opens, I will actually go in to pick out a new book to read now that I've found heaven several times over.

Today, the price of peace was $0

(Those little plastic cups, the hard covered book and the tarp were gifted to us)