Spring Watermarks: Inspired by Change

Jessica Gordon
Watermark Project
April 03, 2019

After a wild winter with variable weather, widely ranging temperatures and several school snow days, it’s likely that many people are ready for the changes that spring brings.

And many people have been inspired by spring, according to their Watermarks.

Watermarks are stories about personal connections to a body of water. The stories are collected and stored in the Watermark Project Archive, creating a digital record and allowing us to better understand how communities connect with local waterways. The IJC began partnering with the Watermark Project in 2016 to help collect these stories.

Nina Munteanu, Jeff Schaeffer and Ingrid Mattson shared their Watermarks about the spring changes they witnessed, along with the wisdom those changes inspired.

Nina Munteanu is a writer. It was her experience wading the length of the Credit River in Ontario during the spring that helped inspire her writing and created a sense of home.

“Getting in touch the Credit River, just by wading through it … a whole bunch of things kind of coalesced for me, in terms of wholeness.”

For Jeff Schaeffer, spring means the incredible fishing spots he visits along Lake Huron. It also means sharing the experience with others and watching them change their whole perspective of the lake.

“I fish with people that have fished all over the world and they say, ‘When I think about my fishing past or I think about my fishing experience, for some reason Lake Huron comes to the top and the place just haunts me.’”

Ingrid Mattson recalls setting off firecrackers on the ice floes of the St. Lawrence River during spring and how it inspired her sense of ethics and moral responsibility.

“We did not manage to blow up the ice, but we did leave burnt cardboard and flash powder residue, where it would sink into the river during the thaw. It was not the first or the last time that our garbage would end up in the water.”

Are you inspired by changes in the waters you care about? To share your story or experience, submit your Watermark here or browse the archive for more stories about the important role water plays in our lives and communities. For more Watermarks in the Great Lakes region, visit Great Lakes Guide.

Jessica Gordon
Watermark Project

Jessica Gordon is collections coordinator for the Watermark Project, an initiative of Swim Drink Fish in Toronto, Ontario.