Parkwood is a local history landmark in Oshawa.

As I sit in the garden at Parkwood, I can feel a sense of deep history. Looking around, I can see there has been years of growth and care that go into that garden to maintain it.

The many hours it took to make it look beautiful, to maintain the order and precision of all the bushes, hedges, pristine clear water in the fountains, the maintained rose garden and planting all the new annuals each year along the edges and urns around the property.

I could only imagine 80 years ago what it would have been like to be one of the McLaughlin daughters. To walk on the property and imagine the possibilities in their art it would have had. To be in a gown, running my hand along the concrete railings and stroll down the steps that led down to the fountains and having a sense of pride and ownership of the home their family had created. I walked in their foot steps and imagined myself in their place. Running my hands along the same railings and hedges, taking in the sweet scent of lilac and cherry blossoms, feeling the coolness of water spray against my skin.

I thought of all the cares I had melt away, free to enjoy the moment, to appreciate and marvel in nature’s glory.

I put this same pride into my own home when I go home. It is a fraction of the size of Parkwood, but it has filled in with the love I put in to making it my sanctuary. It is a place where I can go to retreat from the world and appreciate nature. My efforts to make nature abundant shadowed in comparison to Mother Nature. She provides the soil, the nutrients, the light and the water. This allows all things to grow and flourish on earth. As a mother, she gives birth to life and ensures life continues to exist in balance and harmony.

We absorb energy not only through eating and drinking, but also through our skin from the light.  Without light, water and food, our physical self could not survive.

Furthermore, today is about appreciation and respect for nature. I would not exist without you, nor would I be happy without you. You are glorious, fertile and abundant. You are life itself and you will always exist. Thank you.

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