Thursday, January 03, 2019

On ice and life by the river's edge

Life on hold
Laval, QC
November 2018
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Early on a Sunday morning before we pack the car and begin the long trek home, I take one last stroll around my father-in-law's neighbourhood. I've been doing that a lot lately - walking around, reflecting, taking pictures, trying to remember what it feels like to be here - because I don't know how many more times we'll be back in this particular place. My gut tells me time is running out. Next month? Next year? Hard to tell. But the ticking is getting louder.

We had a bit of an ice storm the previous night, so the drive home promises to be a more tenuous affair than usual. I probably shouldn't be walking the ice-rink sidewalks with a camera in my hand, but tradition is tradition, and I'd feel like I had missed out if I stayed in.

I come across this frozen-in-place bush just steps from the river that winds its way through this quiet corner of a usually busy town. It's hard to imagine that just a few short weeks ago, it was covered with leaves, teeming with life. In its current state, it's equally hard to imagine it ever returning to life. But that's the thing about nature: Everything moves in cycles, life often lurks quietly where you least expect it, and everything has its own season. We can't know any more about what lies in store for this now-frozen collection of branches than we might for ourselves. Or those closest to us.

I rack off a few frames while trying to avoid falling down the steep riverbank, then turn back and slowly shuffle my way inside. In my never-ending search for answers to the questions that flood my brain these days, I can't help but think I should spend more time staring at frozen bushes. They seem to have this life-goes-on thing pretty well figured out. And even if they don't, timing-out alone for a few minutes before embarking on a journey is always good for the soul.

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