About a million years ago I was told by a psychic that I would only be happy living within the sound, sight and smell of water. Shortly after that reading my partner and I began spending our winters on the island of Eleuthera within sight and sound of the Atlantic waves crashing on one shoreline and a short bike ride to the Caribbean's more placid shore. I was happy there. The psychic had been right.
But I already knew it was true because I've always sought water as a place to write or study or think.
As a child, I found that peace living on Lake Promenade in Long Branch, right across the road from Lake Ontario, our summer playground. A few years later, I would skip school in order to sit by the North West Arm in Halifax. Later still, it was Lake St. Louis, part of the St. Laurence River system, that drew me to it. Since the late seventies, Pike Lake has been my watery source of sanity and grace.
Today the rains that are flooding our area have transformed my chortling little run-off stream into a torrential rushing river that storms down from the mountain enroute to the lake. It is so noisy that I have had to close the window in order to think, so right now it sounds more like background white noise. But really ... I love the sound of tumbling water. I will take Kenya out soon so that we can visit all the little waterways that feed Pike Lake.
We will likely take the same route we took on Monday when a friend came out to walk Kenya with me. We went up to the Five Lakes Fishing Club, an elite club with restricted membership ... you know ... the kind that can blackball potential members if they don't meet their rigorous class-based expectations.
My friend said, "One day this will all be only for the privileged few."
I replied that it already was.
But he wasn't talking about Five Lakes; he meant everything up here in these hills ... Pike Lake ... his own place with its magnificent view over the Gatineau River ... the Park trails where we have access to nature (as long as we don't have our dogs with us :-)
He meant that in twenty years only the very wealthy will be able to have a stream rushing past their home, or a lakefront property that provides them with peace, or acreage so big that you cannot see your neighbour's house. We are the last generation to be able to live this way without great wealth.
And yes ... I know what a privilege that is.