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My Impressions of Quebec

by Aven McMaster
Ottawa Monthly Meeting (Quakers)
Toronto, Ontario

Thinking about Quebec, my first image is of my family's cottage, off the Ottawa River, on a secluded lake, where my family and I have spent many happy, quiet summers. The natural beauty of the area takes my breath away whenever I see it, especially in the fall as the leaves turn such glorious, vivid colours. Now that I have moved away from home, that cottage has become even more important to me.

The second image is of the TV room in my residence at the University of Toronto. Although often students ignore any event that doesn't directly affect the next midterm, that October night every television in residence was tuned to the CBC. For the thirty of us gathered in the common TV room, the night seemed unbearably long as we watched the numbers of each side's tally of votes in the Quebec referendum hover around the 50% mark. I remember one girl had to keep leaving the room because the tension made her physically ill; but my clearest memory is of a Québécoise friend and her boyfriend, sitting on the floor and conversing quietly in French. I thought then that their worried faces showed that that night's decision would affect them most directly and immediately, as they could have been going home for Christmas to a separate country. Looking back, however, after spending another idyllic Thanksgiving weekend at my cottage, I realise that no Canadian would be unaffected by the loss of such an immense, beautiful area, and of the people who inhabit it.

I hope to continue sharing the joy and peacefulness of my cottage with my family and friends for many decades.


And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings; There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, And evening full of the linnet's wings.
- W.B. Yeats