Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Watching the River Flow

Since yesterday's post (The Maple Ridge Cat Killer) dealt with some heavy subject matter and disturbing mental images, I thought I'd switch it up completely and briefly discuss my wild love affair with Mother Nature.

While Maple Ridge might currently be known for the horrid acts of a cat murderer, I ask that it instead be known for the fact that it has a multiple lake and river spots to offer. Sure, malls and movie theatres are nice, but nothing offers free entertainment quite like nature does.

Maple Ridge, located about an hour drive outside of Vancouver, British Columbia, is known by some as 'Maple Ditch', 'the boonies', and other derogatory terms that would suggest we're a farmland shithole with not many memorable qualities. And while one day I'd like to live closer to the big city lights, Ridge will always be a special place for me, because it offers some of the best nature venues one could ask for.

Many years ago now, a very good friend of mine, Guy Dudeman, turned me on to the idea that I could travel 10 or 20 minutes from my home and sit by a river. Before then, the thought had never really occured to me. Since then, it's a weekly venture that I look forward to making. As long as the sun is up and the weather is right, the river is there for me. It can be a place to sit and reflect on my own, to take photographs and write, to join a friend for a beer and some great conversation, or to spend some time with Mary Jane in peace.

Ultimately, sitting by the riverside is a way to gain some perspective. Long before I was around, through my whole life, whether I'm up, down, or somewhere in the middle, and well after I'm bones in the ground, that river is still going to be flowing. Mind blowing.

So whether you live in the big city or a small town, if you find the need to escape for a while and reflect, find a park, a lake, a river, a trail, and spend some time with Mother Nature. As long as you treat her well, her love is endless.

And now, a moment of zen. Here are some favourite nature photos I've taken over the years:

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