Bon Echo

by Helene Louise  

 

A few weeks ago I visited some dear friends at their cottage in South Eastern Ontario. We've had a long-standing invitation but it wasn't until this summer that I finally managed to get myself and my daughters there. It was a long drive through parts of Ontario that I didn't know but all of a sudden, about fifteen minutes before arriving at our destination, we passed a sign that said "Bon Echo Provincial Park" that looked so very familiar. 

It had been about thirty years since I had last seen that sign but I recognized it right away and it brought back a flood of memories. In my book there is a chapter called "Finding Reasons to Persevere - My Collection of Fireflies" in which I write about how finding reasons to persevere in the context of my daughter's rehabilitation after a childhood stroke was a bit like catching fireflies on a high school camping trip many, many years ago. It's an example that I use quite often, including an earlier blog entry. Well, it was in fact in Bon Echo park that I collected those very fireflies so many decades ago! It's funny how we can think we are so far away from our past but then, unexpectedly, there it is right in front of us once again. 

On the way home after our visit, my daughters and I stopped to take a picture of the Bon Echo sign. Thirty years ago I could never have imagined how my life would unfold between my two visits to that area, how many turns it would take and all of the challenges I would eventually face—including my daughter's diagnosis of a childhood stroke. But all in all, I am grateful for how things have turned out, for the experience of catching fireflies so long ago and for the way in which my past, in this case, is still with me somehow.


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