ON THE SHIELD

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The Canadian Shield is a swath of granite left behind by the last ice age that sweeps down from the Arctic to just north of Toronto. 

Quite apart from the rolling agricultural hills of southern Ontario, The North is a carved landscape of big rocks, inky lakes, silver birch and evergreen trees.

On the shores of one of those lakes, up on that shield, sits a little cabin with little to recommend it but whispering trees, family memories, and an ever present view out to the rippling blue.

For those of us who've moved around or come to live far from where we were raised, familiarity can become something altogether unfamiliar. It's a quiet luxury that's easily forgotten until we come face to face with it again.

That's what I was thinking about while I sat by the fire listening to water lapping at the shore while my mother and grandmother talked about the olden days. That... and these...

Things I love:

Wind in the pines.

The crackle of birch bark on a damp fire.

Tim Hortens apple fritters.

The brief whoop of the loon greeting his mate on the water.

The smell of balsam sap on sticky fingers.

Wild blueberry patches on rocky outcroppings.

Looking out for black bears near wild blueberry patches on rocky outcroppings.

The old blackened kettle simmering all day on hot stones.

The glimmer of sky through thick forest announcing the closeness of the lake just when you think you've lost your way.

Flannel shirts.

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