Before the pandemic, I had a lovely 30-minute commute on foot. For two-and-a-half years, I walked across the Alexandra Bridge from Ottawa to Gatineau twice a day, five days a week. It was a great way to start and end each workday, and I began to really look at the Ottawa River for the first time in my life. I watched it change states through the seasons, and began a nearly daily habit of taking a picture (or pictures) of it in its various states, mostly looking directly down at the river from the pedestrian walkway on the bridge.
The pandemic interrupted this, as it has interrupted so many things. Today, my partner and I take walks in our neighbourhood before and/or after work, as life and the weather allow, and I have again begun to take photos of the rivers close to us (the Ottawa River and the Rideau River), albeit much more occasionally.
I post these on Instagram (@caoanstee if you’re interested), usually under the title “River update.” Here is a small selection of some of my favourites from the last four or so years:
And here is a poem titled “River Suite (Alexandra Bridge)” that came from the same habit (and that was published by above/ground press back in 2018). I’ve got some copies of this broadside kicking around, if anyone is interested.