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Childhood Memories

It’s funny how having kids brings you back to your own childhood.  When I look at my son I want him to experience the same wonderul moments I did growing up, when everything was new and exciting. I was lucky enough to have a family cottage. Our cottage was on an island near Fenlan Falls, making boating both a necessity and a pleasure. As is the nature of rivers, the silt deposits on our shoreline were pretty impressive and every weed possible grew there, making swimming an unpleasant experience.  Shortly after moving into our cottage we heard from beighbours of a place simply called The Swimming Place which offered a weed and silt-free swimming experience. It could only be reached by boat, making it even more mysterious and promising. We ventured out one day in our boat with picnic lunch, towels, beach balls etc. in tow.  Across Cameron Lake we went and into a little bay filled with anchored boats, splashing kids and chatting parents enjoying the sun and the water, forgetting about the hustlbe bustle of city life.  We spent the whole day there, a small piece of paradise.  As the sun started to sink, the magical day was coming to an end but the most amazing sight was still to come.  As I lay on my back in our comfrotable old boat, I looked up at the sky, and saw something truly awesome – The sky was filled with hot air balloons of every colour imaginable! I drifted to sleep watching the balloons and the setting sun, lulled into dreamland by the drifting of our boat on the gentle waves.  The Swimming Place became a tradition, a thing to look forward to , a place to take friends. It’s amazing how such a small thing, the memory of a special place, can trigger such warm feelings. I can only hope that as my son grows, he builds his own speical memories to bring back that feeling of wonder and keep him warm on a cold February day!

Louise Cairns

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