There is a special tree, that sways to the side like a painting, that serves as a route marker of time.
Killbear is special because it is the first place we camped together at as a family.
It is the first family vacation we took during the pandemic and we were so excited to get back out into the world.
This moment of T and I looking out into Georgian Bay encapsulates so many emotions about life.
It’s family tradition to take a photo of T with the iconic Killbear tree – a white pine that is over a century old – one we’ll continue as he gets older.
Here he was in 2016 at 18 months…
… in 2017 at 2 years…
… in 2020 at age 5…
… and our recent camping weekend at age 8.
I often think how fun it would be to have a photo one day of an adult T with his own little one – a full circle moment.
But if you look closely, there is now a beam supporting the tree.
A sign on the beam reads: “This tree has been the symbol of Killbear for decades. Sadly it is in decline and needs support. Please do not climb.”
When I first saw this, during our early Saturday morning hike, my excitement turned into sadness.
The tree’s state reminded me about life – and to enjoy every moment, even the declining period.
I thought about how wonderful it would be if everybody rallied around our most vulnerable – in T’s case, individuals with FASD – with the same fervor of support as they did this tree.
Life would bloom with more possibilities.
Who knows how much longer this tree will be around – maybe it won’t be here at our next visit.
But there’s no point worrying. We only have the here and now.
And even if it’s a stump one day, we’ll still visit and treasure this spot for all that it represents to our family.