Into the lights

9 12 2011

I love the water. But I don’t do wet.

Where I grew up, Lake Ontario was a constant companion and a go-to destination. When I went off to school in Ottawa, I gravitated towards the Rideau Canal almost daily, walking along it when the weather was warm, skating on it when it had frozen over.

Here, we’re fortunate to live right along the Fraser River. One of the world’s great waterways is just 50 meters from the front door of our condo building.

Though I’m not a runner, putting on the sneakers is a good excuse to spend a little time with the river. Tugs churn up and down, pulling long crooked log booms, huge hoppers filled with wood chips, dredgers and cranes, sometimes other tugs. Birds swoop low over the water. Occasional a frisky salmon will leap to the sky.

Cold nights are especially magical along the river. The boardwalk is sparsely populated by other runners and walkers. The moon pierces the sky like a klieg beacon. The lights from the container docks, and paper mill across and down river double up in the reflection like a Rorschach ink blot test aglow.

The Fraser is a working river; there's always something going on.

This time of year we’re also treated to the colourful twinkle lights decorating the balconies and windows of the condos along the river. There’s even a contest for the best displays. The perfect salve to forget the cold air and get into the holiday spirit.

Christmas twinkle lights along the boardwalk.