Juste être dehors

Montreal. Gatineau.
Gatineau. Air-Eau-Bois. A few hours of travelling later…

As always, the outdoors activity centre welcomed us with open arms and smiles. There is something magical about Air-Eau-Bois that makes you feel at home as soon as you set foot there. We are happy to be here and to have the chance to spend a few days in this beautiful region.

As soon as we get off the bus, we take a few minutes to visit the place; we finally head for the Inn, where we will sleep tonight. Everyone chooses his room. Cindy and Katharine agree on one thing; the pattern of the sheets is the important thing to make a good choice!

We settle down and get used to the places and to these new people around us. Everyone introduce themselves; we prepare our things for our canoe course. Since the participants come from all over Canada, the expedition is bilingual, even trilingual since Janos is Hungarian. We do our best to translate our discussions; it’s a challenge that already provoking much laughter. The best quote of the day goes without any hesitation to Marie-Camille: “In the fall, we are all dressed, like pizzas.”

We take a few moments to discuss, and then we go to the beach. Paddle in hand, we spend some precious moments on the water, in voyager canoes in this colourful landscape. Some learn to paddle; for others, it’s a pleasant return to the essential.

The expedition was anticipated; more importantly, the encounter.

  • Encounter with the self.
  • Encounter with the other.
  • Encounter with nature.
  • As if we had set an appointment a long time ago.
  • Wanting to laugh, hoping to connect, and wishing to open up.
  • All, determined to experience a challenge other than the disease.
  • All, ready to share, and for some, come out of isolation.
  • Take a break, a moment for oneself, a moment together.

The atmosphere in the group is calm and relaxed. Energy is mostly focused on discussions, support and sharing. Here, everything is said, what counts is the way to say it. Being together makes us feel good, and more than ever, we look forward to going out and playing outside, simply.

See you tomorrow!

Geneviève Locas
Photographer/blogger for the On the Tip of the Toes Foundation