Morrell Nature Sanctuary is just five minutes from where we are staying in Nanaimo, and an earlier attempt to visit was thwarted by heavy rains and Ric’s bad knees, so when Pippy comes to visit next, I suggest we try again.
“I just want to make it to the lake,” I tell her, armed with my camera.
She is game and the weather is cooperative, so we head out. Typical of me, I have misread the map, and the trail we take swings out beyond the lake. By the time I realize the error, my legs muscles are tightening and I am beginning to lose balance. Pippy offers her arm and we slowly make our way back to the entrance where there are picnic tables.
It feels so surreal to be here in this beautiful place with a dear friend, and I am inspired to capture the moment in a poem, written in response to my writing circle’s prompt: wildflowers. I share it here with images to enhance the words.
Morrell Nature Sanctuary
inspire whimsical thoughts –
surely there are sprites
that play amongst these mossy boughs
make homes beneath the ancient roots
whose twisted tendrils rise and dip
in rhythm to earth’s pulses.
The muddied path pushes back
against my weary legs, invites me
to sit awhile, wonder at the impossible
heights from which birdsong flits across
treetops, pinging back from unseen
distances, unhindered by human progress.
Salmonberries, newly popped,
herald the seasonal shift,
and I watch as a slug undulates
slowly past, antennae bobbing,
the black spots of its tail reptilian.
Below me, lantern–like blooms
of yellow sprout at a creek’s edge
their pungent aroma carried by
the still chilled vernal breeze.
A red-breasted nuthatch scurries
up a neighboring fir, while two
robins flirt playfully on the rainforest
floor, hopping amongst the freshly
flowered trilliums, their white
crowns a regal presence in this
palace of enchantment.