Lake of the Woods, Manitoba - Craig Stewart
This water contained the imagination of my childhood. We went there, to the cottage, every summer for a few weeks from when I was about 7 to 17. The water was the focus. A perfect day started with a late breakfast, maybe some badminton or a walk in the birch forest, lunch, swimming all afternoon - especially fun if it was windy enough to produce whitecaps, jumping from the short cliff into the sand, and dinner.
But the very best thing was the after dinner swim with my older brother. The lake was smooth as glass, warm from the sun's heat all day, and we had it to ourselves. We'd come back at dusk, settle in to read a good book and later play card games.
Other days there was canoeing. My cousin taught me to swim properly there when I was 25 and he was 12.
Lake of the Woods was the highlight of my summer. Of my youth.