Saturday, May 5, 2012

Piglet's Big Adventure

I have mentioned before that, like Macon in The Accidental Tourist or Piglet in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, I am a somewhat timid traveler.

While I enjoy the comforts of a hotel and the pleasures of eating food that I have not had to peel, chop and saute myself, I'm not terribly fond of discovering new places. I'm afraid of getting lost, of being ripped off, or of being generally disappointed. I'm afraid of Bad Guys lurking in shadowy places, handing me firecrackers.

This past week, I was in Vancouver. Over a glass of wine I spoke with a colleague about my anxiety in large crowds and a resulting mild agoraphobia. Our conversation rambled to the ability of a person to change not just his or her habits but actual personality.

It occurred to me that I've been reinforcing my Piglet persona. Not only do I not push back against my anxiety, I actually almost boast about it. I use it as an excuse.

The funny thing is that when I do get myself up and out, I almost invariably enjoy myself. I'm always happy to come home, but I will admit that I've had fun. (Most of the time. Food poisoning is the exception.)

So this week, when I'd finished all the tasks related to my trip, I found myself with a couple of free hours in Vancouver before sunset. Earlier, someone had highly recommended I visit Stanley Park if I had time.

I should go, I thought. I googled how to get there.

Naw, I thought. I'll just stay in.

It went back and forth more times than I could count.

But go I did.
It had been raining all week, and still was a little, so the ground was sodden. Moss grew almost everywhere.

Raindrops scattered over blossoms. Yellow poppies

I saw some plants that I could not identify. DSC_7193_2
Life was definitely winning here. It reminded me of a Science Fiction story.
It was lush. DSC_7189_2 DSC_7160_2 DSC_7241_2

Another park visitor [yes, I know: I spoke to a stranger!] told me that this plant (below) is called a Tea Tree in Chinese, but he doesn't know what it is in English. I simply call it beautiful. Extravagantly so. DSC_7157_2

Wildflowers vied for attention. DSC_7066_2
Fiddleheads unfurled in a slow-motion dance. DSC_7105_2

Orange, blue and green complemented each other. DSC_7175_2

And just as I was about to head for the bus stop (hoping I knew where it was), the sun dipped below the clouds and splashed golden light across the forest floor. Forest at sunset, Stanley Park

Yes. I was here. DSC_7219_2


  1. Love Stanley Park. I've been to Vancouver 3 times and on every visit I've visited. It's such a beautiful, magical place.

  2. Flower is camellia of my favourites...I have 2 trees. Glad you were brave and got out to enjoythe park!

  3. Definitely worth getting out!!
    I love your photo essay.

  4. So glad you explored Vancouver-- I love going there for work. It has so many beautiful corners and interesting streets down which one could meander.

    I think the first of those unidentified plants was a hellebore. And that tree is gorgeous!


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