Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Lachine Canal / Ontario creek

I grew up in southern Ontario where there was always a creek nearby. That being southern Ontario, you wouldn't sound it like "creak" but more like "crik". If you were from the country.

In the summer we would swim in the crik, though it meant jumping in and not touching bottom because there were bloodsuckers. We would jump and thrash about and climb out again as quickly as possible.

There were long hours of hanging off the bridge over the crik and looking down into the shallow water at the ink-slash schools of minnows and the crayfish that scuttled from shadow to shadow. You had to be very still for the crayfish to move--for them to believe that the shadow you cast was a tree, not a bird with a long, stabbing beak.

Today--in Montreal--I was crossing the footbridge over the Lachine Canal. Here and there the ice was melting. Looking down into the water I was reminded of those long-ago crayfish. Those skittering, skeletal shapes that lived in the rich muck of the crik's bottom, their movements apprehended more than seen through the light ripple on the surface of the water if there was a breeze.   

Then the late afternoon sun  shone into the water picking out the shapes of abandoned grocery carts.

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