Where Her Heart Is
In a split second, with a *click*, my mother captured the exact moment in which I understood why her soul is irreversibly attached to the wilderness of her childhood summers. I am a Canadian only because my mother is. This story is for her. My mother grew up in Canada, both in the city and cottage country of Ontario. She spent her summers soaking in the sun, sprinting through the tress, and launching herself off the docks along the Black River. It was only until our family took a trip to this magical place that I finally understood what was so remarkable about it. The cabin built on the property no longer belonged to her, but the same neighbors who watched her grow up still resided here. In true Canadian fashion, they welcomed us in like family, fed us, and offered us their canoe. We peacefully paddled up river, and I was awe struck. The transforming fall leaves had turned the forest into an art display of scarlet, gold, and every color in between. The serene river reflecting the scene off its dark surface. A playful breeze swirled the scent of fall through our senses, while the sun beamed warm rays upon us. An irrepressible smile spread across my face. This was the moment I became more connected to my mother’s heart than ever before. The land swallowed us whole, enticing us to come in deeper and explore the bounty of wonders. Canada is unique, holding more sacred memories of her's than anywhere else in the world. This is where her heart is, on the Black River.