Rewind and Fastforward

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It has been a long time since I paddled a canoe across a still Ontario lake.

Yes, I’ve canoed in the intervening time, but BC shorelines are not the same as Ontario ones. Ontario ones, in comparison, look so “quaint” and miniature: the trees are smaller here, the rocks less jagged and imposing. As some of our youth scholars reminded me, however, they are no less dramatic, no less beautiful, and no less dangerous.

I found myself reflecting back to weeks spent at the cottage in the lakes of Ontario as a child. We would take early morning paddles around the lake looking for turtles and loon nests and listening for the call of the loon. I relished the stillness and the silence of the moment and would try and paddle as silently as possible.

Like birdwatching, canoeing is one of those things that I associate with my mum.

I was paddling home across Cameron Lake, enjoying silence in the companionship of my fellow-paddlers, when I began to reflect a little more on what I was doing. Mum used to lead canoe trips with young people on Ontario lakes. Here I was, some odd 40 years later, canoeing on Ontario lakes with young people for the first time as a leader. Its the closest I’ve felt to mum in a long time.

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5 thoughts on “Rewind and Fastforward

  1. I remember when I lived in Northern Ontario and and a friend and I used to load up our canoe and go off fishing and camping for days at a time just on a whim. Thanks for reminding me.

  2. Wow, you brought all kinds of Ontario memories back for me, the call of the loons, quintessential Ontario scenery, I even remember the hot dry smell of the bush at this time of the year. What a lovely way to bring back memories of your mum and keep her close Gillian. I’m sure she is smiling down on you.

  3. From: gillian’s island Hi Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 5:51 PM To: dndframe@telus.net Subject: [New post] Rewind and Fastforward

    Gillian posted: ” It has been a long time since I paddled a canoe across a still Ontario lake. Yes, I’ve canoed in the intervening time, but BC shorelines are not the same as Ontario ones. Ontario ones, in comparison, look so “quaint” and miniature: the trees are sm”

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