Monday, February 20, 2012

urban rivers

I wrote this for an online course, a couple of years back. That course and my reconnection to things from my childhood are the reason I'm on this journey today. The exercise was entitled: "Reasons why you live where you live":

RIVERS... is one of them for me. There was a river in the backyard of the house I grew up in. I would fall asleep at night to the sound of the water rushing over the rocks. The darkness was never really empty for me - it was almost like this energy that flowed like a constant in the background of my childhood. And to me, that sound always connects me to summer with my bedroom window wide open letting the cool evening air in along with the river's lulling sound.

Ottawa is great - it has many bike paths close to its two rivers and canal system. When I lived in the U.S., cyclists would always tell me how amazing Ottawa was because of its greenspace and how many paths there were. I love the way the river meanders and affected how the city was built around the waterways. The different seasons by the river are amazing also - I loved biking to work and seeing the baby ducks in the spring and the rabbits everywhere in the summer.

After I bought my house, it really hit me that this river is the same river that goes all the way to my parents. I could canoe all the way there if I wanted to. I'm not right by the water - it's about a five-minute walk over but it's incredible to have this type of access and to have it included in so many of my activities (even if it's just crossing the river by bus every day). I take it for granted but thanks to this exercise I'm rediscovering it and want to enjoy it more!

This river was my childhood companion and having it so close again is like returning home.

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