Quetico Sunsets

“The River” by Garth Brooks came on the radio tonight as I was driving home from my evening visit to walk in Quetico park. I go often!

“And I will sail my vessel

'Til the river runs dry

Like a bird upon the wind

These waters are my sky

I'll never reach my destination

If I never try

So I will sail my vessel

'Til the river runs dry”

The song had me reflecting on how fortunate I have been in my life to take advantage of opportunities to go on an adventure! If you know me staying put is not in my nature. I was raised in a place where we were given tremendous freedom. Very little supervision and the opportunity to sail our vessels. If I wasn’t on the North Shore of Lake Superior I was running a beach in Muskoka like a little conservation officer learning how the world worked with muddy hands and clam sliced feet. Or in Terrace Bay running the trails behind our house down to the beach holding on to branches trying to make a hill, and twisting ankles across rocks once covered by running water. In Longlac fishing at Suicide Bridge (it was really called that) and going with the family up the mill road looking for partridge, or camping at a dam site in an old canvas tent. And us kids building forts at the water tower. We actually had this park that was a trail through the woods with stations. Picture a one kilometre trail and every 100 metres or so there was a structure such as a swing set, or slides, or monkey bars. Imagine now letting your kids run alone through the bush at a park with hidden playground structures. Parents today would be horrified.. But we had it!! I wonder if the Longlac crew will remember it!?   

What a life. I revel in memories of grabbing my bright red ghetto blaster and a couple cassettes, and a blanket and heading down to Terrace Bay beach. I rarely was able to get anyone to come with me, so I just went… I was never one to let the lack of company stop me from what I enjoy. If I had to go alone - so be it.

Both my parents are non-Canadians. Their families had the guts to sail their vessels to come over here, and start a new life. And their courage is what made it possible for me to be where I am. My dad originally from the Shetland Islands had the courage to drag his young family from Toronto to the middle of nowhere where they had no family or friends to welcome them. My mom was just learning english with a very thick Azorean accent.. My parents were young, and had to wing it with kids in tow - and no car! In a place where the bugs were thick and in the winter snow chest deep but oh the skies so clear!

2019 was my first trip in Quetico with my daughter and Rachel as our guide. And so a new hobby was born. I never would have dreamed in a million years that I would end up here so soon! It feels like I have been planted to spread my wings where I can be free to enjoy the things I love most. Fresh air, sunsets, fishing and sailing my vessel - a Langford canoe.

I managed to get some stunning pictures of the beach this evening. I will be anxiously checking anticipating that glimmer of open water! And off I will go for another tremendous paddle season, and some hiking trips in the works.

I challenge you all to sail your vessels. Life is not meant to be safe, it’s meant to be lived. God gave you a gift.  There is something that makes your heart sing.... When it calls - follow it! ;) 

Faith has been my fuel in my life.  Made me think of a verse...    
"Psalms 31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, All ye that hope in the LORD."

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