As a first generation Canadian, I’ve come to appreciate that Canada is a nation of rivers and, by virtue of that geographical fact, a nation of canoes.

When I think of Canada, I think of rugged coastlines and of great waves crashing into rocky shores which take the letters o-c-e-a-n and toss them high in the air, like spray. These letters swirl, mix and remix and then fall back to earth at the mouth of some river, any river, as c-a-n-o-e, the perfect vehicle to paddle up river into the heart of the nation.

As singer/songwriter (and Air Canada Captain) Dave Hadfield says, “You know you haven’t seen this country, ’til you leave the road behind/Try turning back the pages, to another place and time/Park beside a wild river/Pull a canoe down off the rack/Dip a paddle in the water/And know for certain that you’re back.” Canoes, my muse, means and medium … for explorations without and within.