When the Water Calls

We drove into Gananoque (Gan) from the north, Lanark County. It is beautiful country. The drive likely had me before Gan did.

I am overcome with feeling when I am in the country. Wonderful feelings. I see everything with new born eyes. I look at trees, their colour, how they move, as if for the first time. I am mesmerized by the skies, the clouds, the sun, the shape of the moon. I have an incredible sense of freedom, and of calm.

This was my headspace when we pulled into Gan for the first time.

I can say all the stereotypical things someone coming in from Toronto would say when visiting Gan. Words like cute and quaint and quiet. They are all accurate. But I fell in love with the water.

The water is the central character in the story of Gan. Everywhere you turn, they make an appearance.

Gan is built on the water. It has shaped Gan’s history, is critical to its present tourism industry, and will likely determine its future – or so the town is banking on. It determines the look, smell, and feel of the place. And I love water.

Born in Burin, Newfoundland, I grew up in a house on the mouth of the harbour. The Atlantic ocean was my front yard. There’s something inexplicable at your core when you’re an islander and you’ve grown up on the water. It’s a magnet of sorts that forevermore draws you to the lapping waves.

While nothing will ever beat the rugged wild of the ocean, I felt at home in Gan. Immediately. Something I have not felt since actually leaving home more than two decades ago. The Gananoque and St. Lawrence Rivers filled a gap in me. I belonged.

Then we saw the house.

From Burin, Newfoundland to Gananoque, Ontario.


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