Photo: Swans: mates for life

Go Fish (Credit: R. Ross)

It was July of 1980 at the lagoon in Parksville, where my grandparents had their summer get-away home. My family and I went over to stay with them for a week. I'm so glad I did.

My mom insisted that I spend some family time with them and go with my grandfather when he gets up for his walk. The next morning at 7 a.m., I forced myself to get moving because my grandpa wouldn't wait. He makes a plan; he goes. So, I went.

I followed close behind him, afraid to make a sound and disturb the peacefulness of the day. We headed up the lagoon to the start of the Englishman's River and he stopped, looked at me and pointed ahead. I gasped at a most beautiful sight. A pair of trumpeter swans were gliding towards us.

We stood in silence and my grandfather smiled at me. Isn't it grand, I thought. With all the chaos in the world, we could be awestruck by the most natural things. All I knew about swans was that they are mates for life, like my grandparents Syd and Alice- forever in my heart.

Message to Canadians: Please help to keep pollutants from entering our rivers and oceans.The community of Parksville cleaned up Englishman's River after years of chemical spillage. Now it is healthy.

By Rolonne Marie Ross

Surrey, BC

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