It always seems that spring arrives very suddenly in Fort Mac. I went to Edmonton with a local school for a couple of days, and when I left the season known as brown was still in full swing. When I arrived home, though, I discovered this:
I knew that spring had finally arrived, and judging from the temperatures we are going to plunge headlong into summer, too. I'm delighted to see all the green on the trees, and the city is already looking cleaner and more beautiful.
There are a lot of people who see this as an ugly town, but in summer it's actually a lovely little city. The waterfront area around Borealis park in particular is wonderful, as are all the local trails. There is this special little period of time when the green has begun to appear and the blackflies and mosquitoes have not yet descended. It's a brief few days indeed, but they are glorious days to be out and about in Fort McMurray. This spring that joy is a bit muted by all the smoke from the local forest fires, but seeing all that green still brightens my spirits.
I recall when I first arrived in the city. Our plane landed in early August, and I remember sitting in the taxi as it drove down the 63 and towards the bridges. I clearly recall being amazed at the summer splendour of the river valley, and thinking that my new home was not at all what some believed it to be. That was almost a decade ago, and every spring when I take that same drive from the airport I feel the exact same way. There is so much beauty here that is ignored or overlooked by those who wish to disparage it, and by those who refuse to see it. I encourage us all to look about our city with fresh eyes and notice that this city, controversial as it may be, problems and all, is truly a natural beauty.