THUNDER BAY – With spring showing signs of coming to life yet again, days such as this past Friday made me stop on my rushing around, and slow my pace and take the time to marvel at the beauty that surrounds us in North-western Ontario or New Ontario as I like to refer to this paradise.
I took the time to stop at one of my favourite locations at Orient Bay north of Nipigon, where you can look up from the southern-most portion of Lake Nipigon into the beginning of this gorgeous lake.
Having been raised in southern Ontario, and migrated here some 35 years ago, I never can get enough of this region’s beauty. Yet I do feel at times that we take our surroundings for granted. I know myself that I sometimes do and on such a fantastic day as this past Friday was, with warm winds and sunny skies I felt compelled to stop and soak it all in.
What a glorious time of year too, with all the returning birds and ducks, the new-born deer and moose just starting to venture out on their own and hopefully safely away from the highways.
The rivers and streams are swollen now and teaming with new life and to top it all off, the waterfalls were tumbling down from the Cascades. Gorge Creek was spectacular.
The poplar and birch are just starting to think about popping their new buds and turning that spring-like green.
We are so blessed to live among this natural beauty that provides not only breathtaking scenery, but also the resources to support our communities. We are not subjected to the natural disasters that seem to be happening everywhere in the world currently. What do we have to complain about weather-wise except for a winter that may hang-on a little too long for some, or some seasonal flies, but all-in-all we have it made here.
When I look around at what our neighbours to the south must endure every year with major flooding , tornadoes, and hurricanes I feel we do take what we have for granted. Sure it feels remote sometimes however I know when I have been away and the plane that is bringing my back as we near Thunder Bay breaks through the clouds, and I can see below me the Sleeping Giant welcoming me back, I get a sense of tranquility, home safe and sound once again. Back to our special and in some ways secretive paradise.
Everything seems to be happening at a much slower pace up here, thankfully. From the easy airport to less traffic, it all makes me realise what we have here. It sometimes takes me to be away for a little while to appreciate what we have.
And so, I took the time to stop and “smell the roses” as the saying goes, this past Friday. We all have these special places that help remind us of what we truly are blessed with here. We need to take the time to marvel at this beauty from time-to-time.
If we do not take the time to appreciate our precious region, we will not see any changes that we may regret. We have the opportunity to maintain what we have and not let outside influences change our backyard. We have to maintain our vigilance though and take the time to appreciate just exactly what we have.
M. E. (Mike) Shusterman