We had our first park picnic a weekend or two ago, the glorious warm weather and sun perfect from under the shade of the towering trees at Withrow Park, on the east end. The seesawing between the warm and cold finally landed the warm on a weekend, and it was about time.


It’d been a while since we’d been there, ages and ages actually, since our old days at Carlaw, when Withrow was up the street and we’d walk the dog and bring Caleb to totter around. It’s a beauty of a park with soaring trees, lots of space, and along Danforth, cafes and restaurants to pick something up for a snack or dinner. It’s all very family-friendly, which feels a million miles away from our own world sandwiched cosily between Allan Gardens and Regent Park and Moss Park and the sheep at the farm. Every time we venture into these neighbourhoods with delightful bakeries and after school activities for kids we wonder about how and where we’re raising the kids, in the heart of the city, with space for compassion and interesting people but also space for syringes on the ground and people breaking our windows with rocks. That’s neither here nor there, really, because here we are, in this space, in this moment, which is all we ever have even as we operate on the assumption of endless days streaming ahead of us.


The kids kicked around a soccer ball, ran through the trees, brought back some weeds, made unreasonable demands. I mostly contemplated the world at large and at small. All the big and looming things ahead of us, all the tiny things keeping me up at night. I’m nearly finished the MD notebook for my journal, always a precarious time. How many pages left! Should I just abandon the last few and start a new one, or risk running out of pages for all of my brilliant and scintillating thoughts while out and about? Ah, the great dilemmas that eat up all my brain power.


Sometimes this is what we need, to get outside, even just for an hour or two, to stretch out our winter vines in anticipation of unfurling into the season of outdoor swimming and lemonade and tan lines. Grateful as always for the moments given to me.


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May 24, 2022 — Liz Chan



Nina said:

Congratulations on your new daughter! She is gorgeous!!
Thank you for sharing such a personal event – it brightened my day.

I feel like I’m floating along beside your boat. I was so delirious when I entered your first shop I didn’t notice you had a baby under your top! And now it’s 2 babies later! Hugs.

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