The Cosmos

Do you ever wonder why something, or someone crosses your path? Is it by chance or is there some significance behind it?

The other day, as I rollerbladed along the Ganatchio Trail, I noticed an older man up ahead. Even from the back, I recognized him by his gait.

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It was my neighbour, who has dementia. The kind of dementia that makes him want to walk all day long. I’ve often seen him several miles from home, but always on a sidewalk next to a road, never on a trail, smack in the middle of nowhere, miles from a roadway. Yet, here he was.  He seemed just as surprised to see his neighbour—me—the one who is usually tending her garden, actually rollerblading right by him! I felt thankful he could still recognize me. Many times I’ve wondered what will happen to him when he can no longer remember his way home.

I rollerbladed along. A brilliant cardinal swooped low directly  in front of me. Then, paused briefly before flying off again.

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A fuzzy-wuzzy caterpillar inched its way across my path.

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A Monarch flitted in front of me and settled on a nearby thistle.

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Then, I spotted a woman I often see when I swim laps. I stopped to chat and my neighbour with dementia passed by us. I asked my friend to keep an eye out for him in case he ever became lost. I inquired how her mother was doing as I knew she was in the palliative stage of breast cancer. Unfortunately, she had passed away. I listened while the woman told me, in detail, of her peaceful passing. My friend is very spiritual. Then, she  recalled my dad had passed not long ago. She knew him from church and told me, “He was a wonderful soul.”

I answered her, “He is!”

Because his soul lives on. I thought of Dad as I made my way back to my car. I remembered he mentioned once how he wished he would’ve scattered cosmos flower seeds along the Ganatchio Trail. Hearing that, I had sowed a couple of packets of seeds there, but nothing took. There hadn’t been much rainfall that spring. After that failure, I transplanted about a dozen cosmos plants and faithfully watered them every couple of days. They were doing well…until a City of Windsor worker mowed that strip of meadowland close to the trail. I sighed.

Today was my day off so I had extra time. I decided to switch the roller blades for rubber boots.

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I used to walk in  flip-flops down to the edge of the pond to look for swans. My fear of ticks led me to borrow my daughter’s rubber boots. I made my way down a path that I assumed was made by the Canada geese and the swans. It was about that narrow.

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I was in luck. The swans were out today!

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I spent some peaceful time photographing the swans until I got a little too close. Hiss! Hiss!

I decided to head back home. I waded through the tall grass and almost tripped over a pretty, grayish-blue rock.

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It was unusual to find rocks along the trail. Then, it occurred to me. If I couldn’t bring the cosmos to Ganatchio Trail, I’d bring the Ganatchio Trail home to my cosmos. I picked up the heavy rock.

Now, I think of Dad and the Ganatchio Trail whenever I see the rock in front of my cosmos. Finally, all is right in the cosmos!

Happy (early) birthday, Dad!

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12 thoughts on “The Cosmos

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