This morning early, after taking Little Miss to preschool and running a quick errand, Little Man and I stopped by the River Walk. We usually go there several times during winter, but with the weather we’ve had and the insane wind chill factor, we had avoided any place really that was unprotected. But with the warmer mornings, the sun so bright, the ice moving along at record speeds and the tide being almost at its highest point. I couldn’t pass it up. And rightly so, because it was majestic. Little Man sat in a trance, following the flowing icebergs down the river, watching the ships go by, crunching the ice with their bow. It was too amazing to keep to ourselves. So when 3pm came around, I picked up Little Miss early from school, loaded everyone into the car, drove downtown to pick up my hubby and after a short stop at our favorite café for dinner, we headed back. The 4 of us this time. What a different sight it was : The tide was low this time, revealing cliffs of ice, massive chunks beached on the rocks, waiting for the water to come back and pick them up. In the heat of the day, some of the ice on the river had melted so the current itself was a bit less impressive, but those ice sheets, varying from white to grey to brilliant turquoise blue were breath-taking. As the kids had snow ball fights with their dad, I was left to wander the peer, thinking about how special this place is. I think it’s pretty obvious by my blog that I’m a nature lover. But, the reality of it is that I’m also a city dweller and city green (or in this case white) spaces have always been very special to me. It is very easy to get lost in the immensity of nature when you are fully surrounded by it. When everything around you is pristine, relatively untouched, away from the hustle and bustle, calm, peace, serenity, they all come to you. It is a much different experience when you are in the thick of the city, trying to connect with nature. But when I find myself struggling, wishing I lived a bit more in the country, in a quieter place, I try to remind myself of the precious nature of these natural urban spaces. I become aware of the intention behind them. Most city parks have been man-made. They have been planned, developed, proposed to city councils, probably refused multiple time. They have been fought over for urban development, for housing projects, for industrial exploitation. And yet here they are… being renegotiated every new municipal administration, every yearly budget. They fight for their reason for being, the health and peace of mind of the people who may only have these precious spaces to connect, for their children to connect. And when you think of all these things, how grand are these tiny jewels in the middle of the big city? So tonight I am so grateful to live in a city that decided to build a 2 mile River Walk along our beautiful St-Lawrence River instead of making BILLIONS selling this priceless view to real estate moguls. I’ve said it before and I will most likely say it again many time, but I’m so blessed to live in such an amazing place. Good night every one!