Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Walking With Feet In My Heart.

             "Touch my heart with your foot."
                                    - Annie Hall

For anyone not familiar with Woody Allen's classic film Annie Hall these words were uttered by a character who is described as being emotional. Such was my walk today. Emotional. Heartfelt.

The winter sun broke over crisp frozen grass that snapped with each step I took. The air was cold but since the day was strikingly bright I decided to venture out with the dog and go for a walk. Feeling nostalgic and having the use of the car I decided to take a walk somewhere I haven't been in awhile.

Kingston Mills Locks. It is a site of tremendous history. Irish workers toiled, and due to the harsh working conditions of the mid to late 19th century, paid with their lives to transform the land into a series of working locks along a canal that connects lake Ontario with the Ottawa river. 

In the distance a train streams over the locks. As a child I looked forward to the rumbling and shaking of the earth that signalled the coming of a train.
The locks are also the site of my own history; this is where I spent five years of my childhood. Many hours I ran and played on these grounds. And on the train tracks.

Where do your children play? What will be the landscape of their memories?

The path to the train tracks.......

.......which are no longer accessible by children.

What is the landscape of your youth?       What does it look like now?

I remember the locks being one big playground of nature. There were trees for climbing and trees with secret hiding places for notes and bundles of food and miniature toys. There was water which meant dead fish to poke at and live fish to catch and swimming holes. There were boats that carried us away on our dreams; dreams of one day sailing around the world or of sunning in the Caribbean. There were docks for napping on and for jumping off of. There were shady spots for families who picnicked and barbecued.

Which memories are worth holding on to?

I wandered the grounds searching for memories through the clouds of aged eyes. I saw the rocks I now climb with harness and rope where I used to nimbly canter over. I worked my way up and down the stone steps where I once ran with vigour. I tromped the boardwalk where once I bounced before diving into the depths of the river. I breathed in deep the smell of the fallen leaves and walked with my ear to the ground, listening to the hollow crunch of the leaves underfoot. I marvelled at the cold crunch of the stones I stepped on once back on the path. My senses brought back memories more tangible than I appreciated when I was young.
The winter landscape from the top of the locks.
My 'stairmaster'.
A view of the Rideau as it meanders towards lake Ontario.

Ice forms on the banks of the Rideau.

Dominoe and I clamber through the rocky paths.

Ice dangles from the limestone cliffs that border the canal.
From the trees to the boulders I used to climb over in my childhood exploits I wandered.Though not yet near the winter of my life I was certainly enjoying a winter walk into the heart of my childhood.

Don't just take your children for walks. Take their hearts by means of their feet. It will give them a bank of memories for each season of their life. 
Rosy cheeks and a warm heart.

1 comment:

  1. I love the pictures. It's true we did a lot of exploring around there...I recall leeches on the banks of the Rideau, don't I?
    Speaking of taking children for walks, what about our European trip? We walked everywhere....