reflections on paradise

1_canal_2Summer Sunset Along the Bikepath on the Erie Canal in Pittsford, New York

I grew up along the Erie Canal in Rochester, New York. One sweet spot of nature-meets-manmade for beauty. As kids in elementary school, we chanted the folk song “Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal,” written in 1905 by Thomas S. Allen as mules, then motors pulled the weight of early commerce along the waterways. I grew up a few blocks from the Rochester Museum and Science Center, and spent weekends marveling at the Erie Canal Diorama on the 3rd floor, tiny figurines skating along the frozen sections passing through downtown. Eventually I raised my children along the Genesee River and it’s intersecting passages of the Erie Canal cutting along the boundaries of our Genesee Valley Park neighborhood in the 19th Ward. When I returned to Rochester for my son’s wedding in 2006, I took my husband to Schoen Place in Pittsford and rented a tandem bike from The Towpath Bike Shop to show off this piece of local pride. After our ride I composed this image of sunset on the canal. In Photoshop I mirrored the image and it serves as my classroom laptop screensaver. My students often comment on it and I continue to share the beauty of where I come from,… as it inspires me to constantly survey the beauty in which I live.

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