In the great outdoors as in life ... in the Eastern Townships Chalets à Rabais

In the great outdoors as in life … in the Eastern Townships

On the frozen lake, I am sitting on an upturned boiler on which we have placed a mini cushion of foam. I will be there most of the day, facing a lover who is just as uncomfortably settled, but also all smiles. Between us, a hole dug this morning lets out the breath of water moving below. Great romantic in the face of the Eternal, I can’t help but see in this static painting that we form as we tease the fish in the wind, a metaphor for life.

“It must have already been written,” he tells me softly when I share my inspiration for writing this post. “I know I’m answering him. But never by me. If this comment may sound arrogant, it is not, I just want to say that if people have already felt what I am feeling right now, with both feet in the slush of this frozen lake, it must be that I am not the only one to be inspired by it. And then that the way I write it all will be unique, because mine. “Going from the personal to the universal,” said a friend’s teacher. Here.

On this frozen lake, in the heart of Yamaska ​​National Park and protected from the strong wind by a large tent, we are introduced to ice fishing. An excuse, in my case, to go play outside, experience something new, and give myself the illusion that I’m on a trip.

 

It’s one of those pandemic January mornings when the mere thought of stepping out of the house intoxicates me and plunges me into denial of cold weather. The great outdoors, the immensity of the lake covered with a good layer of snow that fell during the night and the boreal forest are already doing me immense good, me the adventurer who is tired of not being able to fly away at regular frequency to see the world.

When we walked in the wet snow, then on the ice of the frozen reservoir to get to our shelter, I could not help but imagine being back in this arctic which changed my life. life, brave the cold on the other side of the world.

This morning, my Quebec reassures me and makes me want to believe that there will once again be trips elsewhere, far away; as there will be others here, just enough elsewhere to warm my heart.

Eyes screwed into the icy cavity, I am mesmerized as when I watch a bonfire crackle in summer. As always when I am in the great outdoors, my thoughts wander, sentences are written all by themselves in my head, inspiration wins me, forgetting to reel. For me, everything is there, in this freedom of the head which empties itself of worries and doubts to fill itself with fresh air, new words and thoughts as sweet as they are positive. I am still, but strangely well, although I usually have difficulty stopping moving, walking, skiing or rolling. It’s winter that calms me down; the cold that occupies me, freezing the uncertainty of the past few months, occupying me entirely.

 

Motionless, silent, I imagine the water and its currents moving beneath the surface. I am calm and patient. I wait.

My sidekick is rather on the move, busy fixing the baits on the hooks, making hot mate to warm us up and trying to fish with two rods at a time. His inspiration is oral; he tells me stories and shares amazing knowledge with me, makes me laugh with his jokes and smile with his urban fishing style. Our differences, strangely, unite us, as does this shared pleasure that takes away everyday life.

“It represents us well I think, which I say, raising my head gently towards him. I take the time to be in contemplation, calm and silent while patiently reaching my goal, as you are active, playful, scattered and eager to suddenly achieve everything we have come to do. ”

I am exaggerating a bit, I know that, because in everyday life I rarely hold still… But still, this moment describes our respective states of mind well, I think.

I then realize that since the pandemic, this propensity that I have to make analogies and to see several situations in life as metaphors or signs is even stronger than before. It usually happens when I’m outdoors and I know it’s anything but fluke.

When hiking, the challenges of the climbs, the summits reached and the precipitous descents seem to me to form the most accurate images of our new life as prisoners. On the bike, the speed, endless pedal strokes, adrenaline rush and freedom give me the priceless gift of seeing this new life from a different perspective. In cross-country skiing, my enthusiast replaces the technique that I have not yet developed, confirming to me that sometimes you have to go for it despite the unknown, that there will be long stretches requiring more effort, climbs, gentle slopes and some, more abrupt, where one will let oneself descend, the body sometimes unstable, but the smile on the lips and the eyes just enough frowning by the wind.

It’s times like the one I spend on this frozen lake that take me away from the despair of our tough new reality. By taking the days one by one, things as they are, and savoring the small pleasures of life and nature in my immaculate Quebec, I remain this girl filled with empathy and humanity who manages to see the beautiful – and sweet metaphors for people and life – in the little things. Because, as Albert Camus wrote “in the middle of winter, I discovered in myself an invincible summer”

Do you also want to enjoy the great outdoors while unearthing your own metaphors for life in the Eastern Townships? There is no shortage of suggestions for winter activities, including:

The Yamaska ​​National Park (Sepaq), offers, among other activities, 6 ice fishing packages. On the Chouinière reservoir (a natural reservoir therefore not seeded) well frozen and under a tent protecting from the wind, you will be introduced to winter fishing for yellow perch, smallmouth bass and perhaps even walleye!

(https://www.sepaq.com/pq/yam/index.dot?language_id=2)

-The hike of the Round Top trail in the Sutton Natural Environment Park is filled with inspiring and simply magical winter landscapes: https://www.parcsutton.com/

-At Plein air Sutton, you can explore the perfectly landscaped trails by cross-country skiing, snowshoeing (rental available there) or hiking. (https://www.pleinairsutton.ca)

-The Mont-Orford National Park is also a small paradise for cross-country skiers and snow and alpine hikers. (https://www.sepaq.com/pq/mor/index.dot?language_id=2)

 

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