On the Shore of Lake Saint-Jean
A Desert of Ice
Lake Saint-Jean is entirely frozen, an ice desert of more than 1,000 km2. It is our playground. At the beginning of the winter, strong winds created a large, tangled ice barrier. Rain and cold temperatures then smoothed this frozen expanse. We take our skates and set up the tent on this clear, sometimes black ice. We feel as if we are walking on the abyss. We look down to see how thick the ice is, but we have the feeling that we are facing the infinite, at times to the point of vertigo.
Now, the lake is covered with snow. We take our snowshoes or cross-country skis to explore this white desert. Fibie is pulled by a rope attached to the Thule chariot that Xavier moves. We transformed it for the winter by replacing the wheels with skis. We set off facing the gigantic white expanse of Lac Saint-Jean. Snow lines caused by the wind form sastrugi.
There are no natural barriers on the lake. The wind carves the snow. It can be violent, fierce. In a few minutes, it transforms this white paradise in a void with no visibility. The snow is blown into small crystals that whip our face. These powerful winds and storms also cause temperatures to drop with a wind chill approaching -35°C. In such conditions, the lake can quickly turn into a hostile place.
Surrounded by nature, Fibie is developing her coordination, strength and motor skills. Last summer, she rode on her own on Quebec's bike paths, in the fall she learned to swim and this winter she is skating and skiing. She learnt to stand up on her skates and to slide on the ice. In alpine skiing, she is improving tremendously, finishing the season snowploughing down the slalom of the steepest slopes in the resort, between the trees or in light powder. Always playing in English with Nayla, she speaks both languages and sometimes both at the same time. Now she has started to take her pencils not only to write her name or send mail copying sentences, but especially to draw her animal friends.
Nayla enjoyed playing hockey with a few friends. She asked Pingo, her husky friend, to pull her on skates along the 30-kilometre-long ice trail of Lake Kenogami, in the heart of incredible landscapes. Skating on the frozen lakes gives her that feeling of freedom, accentuated by the breath of the icy wind. She goes cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on the immensity of Lac Saint-Jean. On skis, she turns parallel on the slopes or off-piste, in all conditions and even starts to have fun in the powder. Nayla and Fibie have been skiing in all weathers and temperatures. Nayla continues her delight-directed learning through many projects. She has enjoyed learning about the Great Wall of China, doing calligraphy, drawing the wall, selecting information to make a presentation to her sister and Dad.
Video Lake St Jean
An Immaculate World
Today the sun is shining, with a light breeze. We head north, listening to the rustling of the snow and the cracking of the ice. In front of us, there are no visual landmarks, only this white expanse that reaches the horizon. This infinite attracts us and makes us feel free. We decide to stop for a picnic. It is -20°C. The sun shines brightly on the pristine snow. We enjoy the joys of the winter in Quebec.
Sitting around the flames, all gazes spontaneously turn to this bright light, to the glowing red embers. Fire has the power to ignite, stimulate, energize, and at the same time to calm, and center. In Canada, fire is part of life, so we celebrate it. These are magical moments. We enter the world of legends and tales. We celebrate the solstice. We connect ourselves with this transformative element. We simply share a moment of joy, life and spontaneity as a family.