James Raffan (author, speaker and consultant)

On Cranberry Lake

Afloat at dawn and inhaling the misty rays of rising late-summer sun. Other days, it might be a sunset paddle with a Thermos of coffee in Listening Bay, watching Venus chase the sun to China. Or maybe idling in star-speckled moonlight, howling with the coyotes, or startling with a laugh when beavers sneak up and whack the water beside the canoe … because they can. Always, though, whether in the wild or here, close to home on Little Cranberry Lake, to embark onto the water like this is to ponder where we came from, where we are, where we are going – to wonder who we were, who we are and who we can be. Suspended between the world above and the world below. Stillness, in harmonic motion. To paddle is to be energized. The possibilities of the place: the land, the air, the water, the ancestors, the children yet to be born. To move in a silent, self-propelled reverie like this is to connect to the water, but also to the lives and lands it nourishes. If it is love that binds people to places, in this nation of river and in this river of nations, in this verdant province called Ontario, then one expression of that simple truth is surely the canoe.

Photos courtesy of James Raffan (Credit: Goh Iromoto)