I love the dog days of summer, those hot sultry days typically from mid-July to the middle or end of August.

During those precious summer days, I canoe and kayak the North Saskatchewan River, making my own history along with the explorers that traveled that same river before me. The river seems to meander along with cool summer breezes wafting along with me as I leisurely paddle along the scenic river banks to an unknown future. The seasons glide  before my eyes into a memory of calm and pleasant experiences to recall at some future place and time. 

Riding my mountain bike along the extensive paths of the river valley is another way I explore that helps the dog days of summer be as enjoyable as possible. The peaceful atmosphere experienced on the water and along the shores of our mighty river that meanders through the hustle and bustle of a city in constant flux helps ground me and clear my mind for a better view of life.

I fully believe the explorers that came before us chose well in locating Edmonton along the river banks, as they had a foresight that is a blessing for all of us today. It’s a place where we can go to get back in touch with nature and enjoy a peaceful and relaxing time amidst what may be a hectic schedule we all seem to have.

Enjoy what the dog days of summer has to offer. | Rob Bernshaw

Maybe you’ve done this too: find a grassy knoll somewhere and lie down in the cool embracing grass, then gaze up at the fluffy white clouds floating lazily in the otherwise azure sky, imagining what kind of shapes they may represent. As the time passes and I become more relaxed, my eyes slowly close.

Later, as the sun is setting in a blaze of colour in the west, I awake to the ending of a perfect day. Refreshed and invigorated, I’m ready and eager for another day of exploration and fulfillment along my path to a brighter, better future, enjoying life along the rich banks of our very own river valley.

Whatever you may find to do to enjoy the fantastic dog days of summer, whether you explore in or along the river or at the lake, or attend the many festivals Edmonton offers, such as the Servus Heritage Festival at Hawrelak Park (Aug. 5-7), get out and enjoy life above the grass, as it passes by all of us only once.

Featured Image: Writer Rob Bernshaw canoeing on the North Saskatchewan River. | Sean Gavin