We all live somewhere

Dances With Words - Nick Wolochatiuk
We all live somewhere
(Photo : Seaway News)

Our place of birth decides where we first hang our hat. I was born in Coniston, during the year masses of German tourists arrived in Poland, Belgium, and Holland. Coniston was the village’s name. It was downwind from the belching smokestacks of Sudbury.

Five years later my parents decided that Toronto was the place to be. I became a city boy for the next three decades or so.

Then came the move to Eastern Ontario. That was my choice, but influenced by another’s. Our home was snuggled among the seven acres of trees, surrounded by another fifty. I became a country boy, learning how to deal with well water, septic beds, a laneway that was almost long enough to be the runway for a small airplane. We tried to grow our own produce. The forest provided firewood to heat our home for more than two dozen years. Unfortunately, I learned that a chainsaw can cut more than wood.

And now, for the last ten years or so, circumstances have now turned me into the citizen of a village, a statehood that’s something between urban and rural.

A recent visit to downtown Montreal was an eye-opener to me. Everything is vertical, compacted, noisy, made of steel, concrete, glass and asphalt. The most efficient transportation is in the Metro-wide tracked tubes. One can shop, work and find entertainment underground. Not a tree, bird or squirrel in sight.




EVERYTHING IS VERTICAL – Glass, concrete and steel. Look up or down, or sideways: more of the same.

An urban dweller is completely dependent upon the rent-taker and tax-recipient to provide heat, light, air-conditioning and front-door security.

No lawn to mow, no snow to shovel. It’s not unusual for an urban dweller to never get to sit behind a steering wheel. The annual cost of parking a car can be as high as renting a room for a year.

Eventually, urban dwellers yearn for un-processed and un-contaminated air, the sound of running water, the sight of any kind of wild animal.  I’ll talk about that next week.

Share this article