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Rowing in Coal Harbour, Vancouver, B.C. (Hadi Dadashian photo)

I’ve lived in cities where the waterfront is only for the rich, where condo towers mar the view, and gates prevent the not-rich from getting close to their common space.

I’m grateful that Vancouver, B.C., insists developers maintain “view corridors” between tall buildings so that waterfront views are shared.

I’m grateful that Vancouver has so many public walkways, with benches and lawns and marina ledges and Stanley Park tree stumps for sitting, so that everyone is welcome at the waterfront.

I’m ever-grateful for Stanley Park, one of Canada’s true jewels. For me, it is always a place of joy.

On a day that’s hot everywhere else, I’m so grateful for the cool of Vancouver’s waterfront in late afternoon. I’m thankful for the freedom to watch one rower moving a scull across the harbor, in tranquility.

Thank you to the unknown rower for this moment: I am marveling at the energy it takes to row, appreciating the strength in your arms and abs, and thanking you for the beauty you’re creating with every stroke.

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