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Aug 20, 2013

The Stillness of Stuart Lake

'The Stillness of Stuart Lake - south of Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba

Silence … Solitude … Stillness. 

One Thanksgiving weekend not so long ago, I visited Stuart Lake, Manitoba. I was unprepared for the experience. The silence was deafening. The stillness breathtaking. The solitude embracing. I became aware of the smallest sounds: my footsteps in the grass, my breathing, even my heart beating. I felt a peacefulness not experienced for a long time.

I am not unfamiliar with silence and solitude. I grew up on a farm in southwestern Ontario. But, after years of urban living, I have apparently forgotten. The pace of everyday life, the noise of the city, the constant clamouring for attention, have taken a toll. I have grown disconnected from the earth, from the seasons, from myself, from something essential. Silence, solitude, and stillness are strangers.

Nothing has been quite so dramatic as the Stuart Lake experience. Looking at this photo several years later, I can feel the calm, the serenity, the tranquility of that place, of that day. It was and is an unusual feeling. It should not be that way.

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