Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Places for Sitting and Thinking

I have always felt incredibly lucky to be born in a country that was teeming with beautiful places - from coast to coast to coast.

Certain places leave their mark on you - places that so touch you with their beauty and majesty that you wished to capture them and keep them in your heart for ever... The song from the musical Oliver goes "Who will buy this wonderful morning? Such a sky, you never did see. Who will tie it up with a ribbon and put it in a box for me?" tells the story of such a moment in time, to be captured and treasured and preserved somehow. I was trying to explain this idea the other day - the idea of those moments and views that can't be forgotten (especially with the aid of a photograph) and the first places I thought of was the cottage with my grandparents. While the view perhaps was not the most stunning, the memories associated with those places will last a life time of going in a variety of beat up motor boats, fishing with worms and catching (once) an 18 inch sucker, going swimming in cold water early in the morning with my Grandma with here hideously amusing bathing caps decked out in bright flowers and her dramatic training coming out, or reading with my mom and of course the years of amusing birthday cakes for my brother. The second place that came to mind was my trip through Lake Superior Park in 2007 - (see Superior Alone Tour in the side bar for pictures on this blog). I think of all the things I've done in my life that trip was probably one of the neatest. It was one of those points in your life when you can see yourself growing emotionally and certainly I spent more time perched on rocks overlooking the bronze and green forests of Lake Superior Park just thinking and again in the golden and green forests of larch, birch, aspen and spruce to the north. Certainly the lookouts from the Awausee Trail stick with me, alone with some from Orphan Lake, and a misty sunrise on a flooded trail in the north end of the park. Finding arctic plants near Jackfish, seeing Rainbow Falls and Agausabon Falls for the first time, watching the sunrise from the bluffs behind the Sleeping Giant or being drenched by sheets of rain on a quest to try some of the famous Sven and Oli's Pizza in Minnesota. Doe Lake has lots of places I used to spend my half days (our weekly afternoon off) - painting on Lookout rock or Big Rock, the Bridge over Dundas Creek (my name for the nameless waterway - not sure what its real name is) or near the birch tree on the beach. Then of course there are all the places in the mountains - the first time I visited an arctic meadow I was up the Grouse Grind near Vancouver (we took the Gondola) But Sunshine Meadows was more charming and I've always loved Mount Edith Cavall. I think the two lakes we visited in the Healy Pass this summer were stand out beautiful as was Chester Lake. I love sitting in places where I can hear water and see vistas. I have lots of warm memories of days exploring the Tundra near Baker Lake - three stand out - an evening hike beyond the graveyard my first year hear where I took some of my favourite photographs. The day I hiked to the top of Blueberry hill and the day that a friend and I took an ATV out to the geographic center of Canada and watched Arctics Hares from up close.

Places can be so breath-taking that its hard to choose a favourite - I'm not sure I've even been there yet. My goal this summer is to make sure I add to the beautiful views I've seen - since life is too short to get too busy to take a few moments to appreciate the view.

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