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The Happy Place

By Jennifer Bews

The Eston Riverside Regional Park is a happy place for many. I grew up loving my summer days at “the River”, especially being a farm kid that missed out on a lot of the townie perks. I recall countless hours spent at the pool, participating in swim lessons and then eventually teaching them, high tabs at the booth, practicing my golf swing with friends and late campfires with smores galore. It was a real taste of freedom and there was nothing else like it. Days spent with people my age was the medicine I often yearn for in my adult years. Bonding with others that are going through the same beautiful and brutal life things, creates a space in my heart of belonging, something I strive for now more than ever while being wrapped in motherhood.

There was a period in my 20’s when I’d only visit The River occasionally, but since becoming a mom I have been drawn to spend more time with the people I grew up with and their children. I often think the summers at the River are much the same as what life was before we were told what our days “should” look like. Things slow down – no plans, no routines, just morning, night and the joy we find between. Whether it’s a friend stopping in while the baby sleeps or the collective togetherness with other young parents watching their kids splash and play in the pool. Random social interactions that lift your spirits and carry them all the way to the next gathering. Much of life at the River is spent outdoors, meals are often shared with multiple families and the dodgy cell service makes me feel more connected than ever. It truly is a happy place.

Thank you to everyone that helps make the River the joyful and vibrant place that brings slow days and smiles to many. The seeds you’ve scattered have bloomed vibrantly in this mother’s heart.

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