Sunday, August 18, 2013

This used to be my playground

Chomedey, at a glance
Laval, QC
February 2013

Click all photos to embiggen
About this photo: Thematic celebrates downward this week, and you can, too. Just head here and all will be explained.
I was flying into Montreal for less than 24 hours, a blink of a stop in a trip that had already seen me skipping across the country, racing winter storms every step of the way.

The wind patterns in the Montreal area on this late February afternoon dictated an approach that looped eastward over Laval, then turned back over eastern Montreal for a westward approach to Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (sorry, I'm a Montrealer: it'll always be Dorval Airport to me, but I digress.)

All of which meant I had a bird's eye view of the little burg, Chomedey, where I grew up. This borough of Laval is no longer the center of my world, as virtually my entire generation moved elsewhere as soon as we hit adulthood. But anyone who was raised in Chomedey seems to recognize the strong pull this place continues to have on us no matter where we end up or how many years have passed.

The photo at the top is a wider-angle version of the ones below. Virtually my entire life played out in the relatively small bedroom community pictured here. My childhood home on Canterbury, friends' houses where we spent countless days just being, the roads where I developed my still-raging cycling addiction, the community centre a few blocks away where I learned to swim, became a lifeguard and met a girl who amazingly agreed to be my wife, the building where my parents and in-laws eventually entire world contained within a few pictures.

Years later and high above, I was shooting fast in the fading light and not really paying attention to the significance of the scene slipping below my window. But now that I look back at the resulting photos, I realize I was meant to fly over that place on that day. Sometimes, it's good for the soul to look back and remember where you got your start.

Your turn: Can you share a snippet or two about your own hometown?

1 comment:

Gilly's Camera said...

Across the main road that ran through our village and then a quick sprint along the backs of the terraced houses.
Past the two Julies, past Phillip and Paul's home, then on up the backs. Garages on one side and veiws of kitchens on the other, finally you get to the back of Brown Owl's home. And right across the junction are tennis courts (or there were anyway!), a bus shelter. a working men's club and the old village school~ now a hostel for walkers and campers. Nip round the corner and a swift right through the gate and over the cattle grid, then keep walking.
Past the garages, past the clapped out cars, on and up. Past Andrew's farm on your right, dip down and over the stream with its dry stone wall bridge (no time for fish dipping today). On up and up, then leave Brian's farm on your left and carry on.

Somewhere up here the road stops...then the track stops...somewhere around here the sound stops as well. Except for the gurgling noise of the fell streams, rising, discovering air and finally making their own way down the fell.

Shh, can hear the birds...and nothing else.

My playground