Quebec #4

Philipsburg, St Armand… Finally.
I have wanted for so long to be here.
It’s a small, quite old-fashioned village. It’s late afternoon on a cold day, so there is nobody about. The crisp air bites at my face as I stand at the shore of Lake Champlain. My mind sees the images of the lake in different seasons that I have looked at so often, taken from this same vantage point.
Today my photographs are of the frozen lake, still deep in its hibernation over winter. I now have a complete set.
The Canadian Legion branch 82 is closed today, but I know what it is like inside anyway.
The church nearby is also closed, but in my mind I see a happy couple and a proud father on the steps, smiling for photographs and enjoying their special day.
I know a number of the locals, although they do not know me.

I take photographs for the memories, but I know I will return. Part of my heart remains here. I’m never really far away.

Quebec #3

It’s common knowledge that the French language is far more prominent here in Quebec than anywhere else in Canada.
I’m glad for the few polite phrases of French that I knew before I got here, and people are very encouraging when I use them. Even so, they recognise my limitations and the people of the Eastern Townships are quite happy to switch to English in order to continue conversation.
I wonder if they recognise how much I love this place, even though it’s my first physical visit. I wonder if they sense my connection.
Whether they do or not, I am feeling it very strongly. Is it odd to feel that this place is my home in some way, or that I belong here because a piece of my heart lives here? In my mind, seeing these places and walking these streets is the most natural thing in the world.
I’m going to work on improving my French so that I can do better when I return.