When I first arrived in Quebec, I was immediately taken aback by the landscape surrounding me. As someone so familiar with driving along the highway and only seeing miles upon miles of flat land and the occasional farm or tree. Certainly fits the proper name, The Great Plains. How “Great” they are, however, is questionable.
So whenever I take in the nature surrounding me here in Canada, I cannot help but be in awe. After living a life only seeing endless fields, I am reminded of how strong my craving is for texture. Trees, mountains, wildlife, the whole shebang.
Living among the Canadian woods has probably been my favorite aspect of studying abroad. The problem is, when the university considers my stay “Winter Semester,” they weren’t kidding. Even in April, days that are both sunny and above fifty degrees are rare blessings.
To take advantage of these days, I go on walks. Without a car or free form of transportation, my legs will do. So with a nicer day, or at least one with sunshine and a breeze gentler than the intimidating gusts from previous days, I ventured around my campus until I stumbled a bike path that, when I first arrived, was hidden beneath a thick layer of snow.
The path is quite short, maybe a fifteen-minute walk, but with as many pictures I was capturing, constantly pulling out my phone, the original walk felt much longer. But no photo could truly commemorate the peace that comes with walking alone, no clear destination in mind, among sprawling trees and sounds of animals waking up from a long hibernation. I was honestly disappointed to eventually wander back and hear students talking loudly outside. If it was acceptable for me to become a recluse and build myself a cabin in the Canadian woods, I would without hesitation.
I don’t have much time left here, and I really do hope I am afforded enough warm days to continue exploring. So much of my semester abroad has been plagued with weeks upon weeks of hiding beneath blankets inside my dorm, looking out the window to see ceaseless snowfall. Having a day where I’m not chilled to my core when walking outside leaves me in bewilderment. I certainly now appreciate the simplicity of a day that doesn’t require a parka even more.
As with my other photography-oriented post, I have a similar disclaimer. I’m not a photographer. I thank the iPhone 7’s camera for such high quality photos. I’m often not inspired to take pictures because I’d much rather just be in the moment without a phone in my face, but nature inspires me.
While I’d rather not leave my new oasis in the woods, I’m glad I’ll have my words and images to look back on and hopefully motivate me to return to some form of this landscape, Canadian, American, or otherwise.
A little repetitive maybe, but hey, nature is beautiful, and I cannot wait for the days I can soak in more of the sun’s warmth and admire all the little but intricate details found only in God’s creation. We as humans are on equal ground, made with the same substance as these trees and all other plants and animals. We are part of the ecosystem. I wish we would treat it as such. But on a lovely day, my part is take pictures and look on with wonder.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie