We put the kayaks and paddles back and headed to the beach. General swim time was fast approaching and the kids wanted to join in. As we crossed the main road I noticed the camp van had returned. It meant Father Brian must be back from his trip into Algonquin. They had made good time.
The beach was empty when we arrived. I grabbed a folding chair and set it in the shade of the trees along the shallow end of the beach. I pulled out my Chatelaine magazine and my towel and sat down while the kids pulled out the sand toys and started to work building another sand castle. The appeal never seemed to diminish for them. This had to be their seventh castle!
Soon enough the counsellors and campers started to line up and fill up the beach. Without the Deer campers there, is was a little quieter than the usual pandemonium.
I was dreamily watching the kids as they diligently worked on their sand castles when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked up and there was Father Brian.
“Welcome back!” I smiled and stood up to give him a hug. “Safe travels?”
“Oh yes. We found the trippers late yesterday afternoon and verified, that indeed, they were completely prepared for our allergic camper. They had actually seen your note too, Anne. So, it was all well taken care of.”
“Fantastic. Very reassuring.”
“We spent the night on an adjacent camp site and left this morning. Then, of course, we stopped at Tim Horton’s for a coffee and a muffin on the way back.” Father Brian chuckled. “I met with Lydia and she has everything well in order so I wondered if perhaps you might be interested in helping me create some happiness during general swim?”
“Ahhh. Ya. Sure.” I responded cautiously. “I live to spread happiness wherever I go.” I chuckled.
“Excellent answer!” Father Brian cheered. “I will arrange for some childcare for you and you can be in charge of weeding, while I do some planting!”
“Weeding, eh? Certainly.” I figured it would be a nice break. I packed up my magazine and towel into my backpack and put my chair away. Father Brian met me at the exit.
“All arranged. Follow me. I want to clean up my flower bed up here by the roadside.” He waved me along. “There are quite a few weeds and I need to clear out the nysteriums that got trampled during Visitor’s Day aaaaand I got some new plants to put in there,” he said excitedly pointing at the flat of various plants he had left by the garden. There was a selection of gardening tools and a small bag of manure.
“Ooooh! What have you got there?” I bent over the flat, inspecting.
“Columbine, Daisies, creeping Phlox and Thyme. I picked them up in town on the way back.”
“Great choices.” I said as I bent down to pick up the weeding tool. “How did you come up with those?”
“The Columbine will give us some bright red blossoms. Daisies make everyone smile. The Phlox is purple for passion. And Thyme reminds me to always make time for loved ones.”
“I love it.” I laughed.
“And they were all on sale.” Father Brian nudged me.
“That makes good fiscal sense… But purple for passion. I never would have thought a priest…”
“THE Passion, Anne. As in Easter.” Father Brian looked at me, incredulous.
“Oh! Right! THAT Passion. God bless you, Father!” I blushed as I knelt down at the end of the garden and took hold of the first of eighty-five dandelions that had taken root. Father Brian started at the opposite end. He dug a small hole and then picked up the manure bag and looked at it.
“Huh!” Father Brian said. “Look at that,” he said. I looked over as I tossed another dandelion over my shoulder onto the gravelly roadside.
“Look at what?”
“This bag contains bull crap. Ha! When life hands you crap, you make a garden!”
“It’s been a rough week!” Father Brian said as he poured a generous pile of manure onto the garden.