Allow me to use these ancient principles to illustrate the way that just when something annoying happens and just as you’re in the middle of being annoyed, poof! the yin yang thing kicks in and makes lemonade.
(No metaphors were [unduly] harmed in making the above sentence.)
Maybe everything is yin yangly but it seemed even more so on a recent getaway, which begins early early in the morning at Toronto’s Pearson Airport where the two people sitting behind me cannot shut up about how there is no smoking area inside the airport and how they don’t feel like walking all the way outside even though the entire return trek might take 20 minutes. They’d prefer to spend an hour moaning about it instead. Also everything is apparently the government’s fault. Everything. Then I overhear one of them say something that tells me they’re on our flight. Yay. Always nice to be in the company of conversational wizards in nicotine withdrawal. = ↓
But… they don’t sit anywhere near me on the plane. ↑
↓ Rental trailer not ready on arrival. Will be 45 minutes to clean.
↑ It’s a blue sky day and we’ve been on a Rouge plane for hours and are therefore starving and possibly semi permanently scrunched up (thank you inch and a half of Rouge leg room!) so decide on a walk, maybe find a bite to eat.
↓ The only place, we’re told, is a Timmy’s just up the road, through the industrial park, next to a gas station.
↑ We head in that direction but, before getting to Timmy’s, we discover another place and wonder why no one mentioned this oasis of deli with ten thousand options for the best snacks ever. AND a patio overlooking a zen garden of smiling bees and giant purple sage.
↓ Is this our trailer???
↑ Uh, no.
↓ The place where we get our fruit and veggies is out of garlic because we are told the farmers are asking too much for it. Too much? How much is too much? And why is everybody willing to pay ridiculous prices for green tea coconut milk lattes but not locally grown garlic? Here’s the thing: if you can, please pay farmers whatever they want for decent food decently grown so that they too may have a decent life. (And the answer to the coconut milk latte is *because they are frigging delicious*.)
↑ They do have lovely onions. Also pears.
↓ The place we get our happy ethical meat and eggs from has moved and is now impossible to find even though we have the address.
↑ After a kind of Laurel and Hardy show involving calling the place three times because I refuse to use GPS, we find it. We buy ethical chicken wings and other delights then drive to our favourite IGA for staples like olive oil. Our camping rule is that we shop once. Whatever we run out of, tough. It’s an iron man camping challenge to use only what we have and to not buy more or have leftovers. It’s not possible to express how much I love this part of camping. Or this IGA.
↓ The pub we always stop at for lunch is closed. As in forever. We aren’t surprised. The guy was a bit of a schmuck. And the patio was always closed.
↑ We start a new schmuckless tradition.
↓ At our remote campsite there is a copse of chokecherries. Also a mother bear and two cubs feeding on them.
↑ We move to a very nice trailer park.
↓ We are warned about rattlesnakes in the area. Oh sure, we say. Pull the other one, hahaha! But on a walk we hear what sounds like a rattle. We don’t stick around poking shrubs and rocks to see what it is.
↑ We feel wise to not care to see what it is.
↓ The lake we are on is freezing cold.
↑ It’s also clear and sandy bottomed and shallow and the sun comes up over the hills that surround it. And the moon too. I swim every day.
↓ We go to lunch at a swanky place but the sun is so hot on the patio….
↑ Oh suck it up already.
↓ I’m lost trying to find a road around the lake.
↑ The nicest people work at the Carmi Motor Inn. And they know directions.
↓ I go to a small town tourist info place and ask what there is to see. “Not much,” the guy tells me. He’s 81, he says, and has lived there for thirty something years and not much goes on and that’s the way he likes it.
↑ In the same town I find a small museum which is really just some pioneery things in an old house. My favourite thing is an old journal from the area that reads: “March 16th … Not much to do all day… March 17th… Not much doing all day, not even basketball after school… About a week ago I heard a meadowlark but haven’t heard one since… March 18th… A fine day but not much to do…”
↓ The Honey BooBoo family moves in to the camp site next to ours. The children throw stones at ducks and are so addle minded that their poor addle minded mother must yell at them constantly to do the simplest things, like not fall into the fire, etc. When we suggest they do not use ducks as target practice the mother chimes in with YES!!! RILEY AND DAYTON!!! THAT’S VERY INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR!!!! Everything they say is at a strange heightened volume as if perhaps they are used to living many kilometres apart and must communicate via open doorways and wind currents.
↑ When we ask if there’s another site we can move to, not only is there one, it happens to be the nicest site in the whole place. Thank you, Honey BooBoo.
↓ We run out of olive oil. (And, in keeping with iron man rules, are not allowed to buy more.)
↑ My honey picks me a consolation bloom.
↓ We run out of chips.
↑ We buy more at the canteen. Chips are the exception to the iron man rule.
↑ Then we find a little house in the woods that sells homemade perogies and once again break the iron man rule.
↓ We are punished by the perogies overcooking themselves into inedible mush. We are grateful for chips.
↑↓ On our last morning, the fridge is almost bare. (This is both good and not good.)
↓ The chips are gone.
↔ Our remaining iron man ingredients are lemons, coriander, two eggs. two slices of bread, a tiny crumble of blue cheese, onions, a few spoonfuls of yoghurt, one perfect pear.
↑ Breakfast, just before leaving — lemony eggs benedict without the hollandaise or the peameal. And a fruit cup.
Embrace the yin yang.