Word Prompt: Grow | Story Prompt: from the book “Canoe Crossings: Understanding the Craft That Helped Shape British Columbia” by Sanford Osler

Write It Out: Instruction Video

“The title of the book, Canoe Crossings, was inspired by British Columbia’s positioning at the crossroads of canoe culture, alluding to the fact that canoes have converged on British Columbia from all directions. But it also acknowledges that canoes have made long crossings or voyages from British Columbia, trips thousands of kilometres long, and that canoes have crossed various boundaries — between countries and cultures, water and land, urban centres and wilderness, and even the physical and spiritual realms.

This book tells the story of the various types of canoes found in British Columbia, from their first appearance up to the present day, and it examines the various symbolic roles canoes have played in this region. It also looks at the people who have designed and built canoes through the ages, and those who have used them for migration, exploration, hunting, trading, learning, racing, recreation, tourism, and even reconciling differences. I hope you enjoy learning more about the canoes of BC and discovering why this province is truly the canoe crossroads of Canada. I also hope you will learn more about the province and its people and how canoes have fostered creation, development, and healing in BC and beyond.”

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Although I may not recall the first time I was in a canoe, I do recall many canoe trips and journeys by canoe I’ve been fortunate enough to experience in my lifetime. I love the pace of being in a canoe, powered only by the arms of those within it and perhaps with assistance from (or pushing against) the wind. There’s an immediacy of traveling on the water, especially with challenging weather, that insists on my being present. I pay special attention to those who share the waterways with me – the multitude of birds, the turtles, perhaps otter swimming ahead, mink running along the shoreline or even moose grazing at waters edge. The canoe takes me, quietly and steadily, into these lost spaces where I feel part of all I see.

Canoeing has brought me joy, and has taught me much about myself.

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