I laughed last night. Deep belly laughs that rolled up through my body, causing my entire being to shake.
It felt good. Funny almost to laugh so deeply. :)
C.C. and I are in Ontario, visiting friends who have a summer house on Barry's Bay. It is beautiful. Relaxing. Calming and fun!
Last night, after an amazing dinner where we watched the sun set cast hues of pink and violet, blue and orange across the sky, after the last reflection had sunk into the water's inky depth, after the loon call had echoed its last refrain across the valley, C.C., Ursula and I traisped through the forest to their neighbours house for a game of Euchre.
It was there the laughter started. Their neighbours are the brother and wife of Andrew, our host. The land has been in the family since the late 1940s when their father purchased it after immigrating to Canada from Poland via Argentina.
This area is steeped in Polish history. The Kashubian's arrived here over a hundred years ago, settling the area and stamping it with the indelible traditions of their home country. Polish flags fly from every peaked roof. Towns are named after places in Poland and where ever you go, the language can be heard on the tongues of young and old. Journeying through the area is a voyage through the Polish history in Canada.
"Here is the girl guide's camp where I went as a child," Ursula tells us.
Under a canopy of maples turning red, Andrew regales us of stories of his youth. "And here's where the priest held outdoor mass every Sunday in Polish."
I am always so amazed, and thrilled, by the pride of history my friends hold for their homeland and their journeys.
Both Ursula and Andrew's father's fought in WW2 as members of the British Polish Air Force. Both are decorated heroes. Men of honour. Men of passion. These are the men who would not give up, give in or give out against the Nazi onslaught. These are men who fought for their beliefs and their countrymen without thought for their own safety. Ursula was just an infant at the time of the war. She and her mother were deported to Siberia where they lived during the war as refugees. Andrew and his mother were also refugees. Both families eventually made their way to Argentina, living just blocks from eachother. But it wouldn't be until they immigrated to Toronto that they would meet, fall in love and marry. Fifty years later, they are still together. Still fighting with passion. Still loving eachother, in spite of the dark clouds, turbulent waters and often tumultuous currents of Andrew's career taking them across the country.
And now, they have this beautiful home on the lake where they travel every year to spend six months of summer on the bay.
Generous, hospitable, kind and open-hearted, they greet all people as friends. Their welcome is legendary, their hospitality filled with grace and ease.
I can't post photos as I didn't bring my laptop and don't have the cables to connect my camera here.
But it is beautiful.
And now, Ursula and I are off for a walk in the woods while Andrew and C.C. are off to play tennis. We'll meet later for a turkey dinner with family and friends which will be held in Andrew's brother's barn. The floor has been swept, the tables set and everything is waiting the sumptuous meal in thanksgiving of all we have, all we share, all we know that makes our lives full and complete.
Wishing you the best of this Thanksgiving in Canada. Wishing you abundance. Love. Hope. Joy and of course, Laughter.
There promises to be more laughter tonight as Elena and Liz plan on taking on C.C. and me in a rematch (We won! -- a fact which I was coerced Elena and Liz into yelling from the deck in the dead of night to the fanfare of Ursula and C.C. -- fueled no doubt by a glass - or two -- of vino veritas!). Amidst the cards played, the Bower's laid there will be singing and repartee and jibes and jostling for supremacy on the Euchre table. And no matter what you say, between Elena, Liz and myself, we will find the words to a song to match and out vocalize you, out sing you, out yell you down! It's just the way of the game. The way to laughter.
Have a beautiful, loving and laughter filled Thanksgiving.