I live there near the Ohio River. Every year of my life I spent on the shores of Lake Ohio. We have a summer cottage right on the beach in Southampton, ON. It has been in our family since the 1940s. We travel a long way to get there and have found it to be a healing place. And indeed that is its legacy with respect to the First Nations traditional territory as a healing place. I think they run together, but of course I was a baby boomer child and we all were free to simply grow up on the beaches without much adult supervision. I remember siting in the dunes and watching the water or swinging in swings, old fashioned swings, and seeing the diamond sun on the water. We also face Chantry island which is now a bird sanctuary. It has one of the Imperial towers.
So it’s really a landscape which is really gorgeous and one in which I associate with childhood freedom and beauty and solitude in many ways. Although we were often engaged in a lot of children’s activities like digging for water or games on the beach or whatever. These are also what I remember as peaceful solitude or what National Geographic considers one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. These are my most beautiful memories growing up in the early 60s as a child. But it was also at that time Canada began to construct nuclear power on the shores of Lake Huron not far from there. So there was this sort of dichotomous situation where you have all this beauty and healing and yet there is a lot of toxicity that is being created just about 30 south of there.
So as I have written about in some of my academic work, there is this paradox of this beauty and Canada’s decision to go nuclear and nuclearizing the rest of us in the process. There was a period in the 60s when there was also the Cuban missile crisis. I grew up in the US, I used to live there. It was a time when I was ducking and covering. So there were nuclear weapons n in my childhood and there was nuclear power near my summer home so I’ve lived in the nuclear era. We all have today. And I was very active in the no nukes movement in the US. We went to the Bruce power plant with our no nukes t-shirts in the 70s to protest and now here I am in the new millenium revisiting this issue because of the proposal to bury nuclear waste in Lake Huron in deep geological repositories. So I feel like my whole life I have been either exposed to this or resisting it at every turn. So this the latest political project for the local area of cottages but also in the area of the larger lakes themselves and more generally all the other types of nuclear harm around the world.
My name is Ann Runyan. My waterbody in the summer is Lake Huron.