I love autumn in Quebec City, my home town. Every day brings discovery and rediscovery. The city keeps changing.
There is, first of all, the setting: Mont Sainte-Anne and other rounded Laurentian mountains rolling down to the Saint Lawrence River near Cap Tourmente; the tides pushing the current inland then pushing it out again towards the sea; a procession of sailboats, bulk carriers, passenger liners and container ships to the northeast, making their way around Île d’Orléans (geologically part of the Appalachians), and journeying upstream, against the backdrop of Lévis.
Then there is the Lower Town itself, where an endless stream of visitors captures a single moment, a still image, a frozen memory of the most beautiful city in North America.
Nature is not an abstraction here, crowded out by skyscrapers. From every direction come reminders of this natural setting of Laurentian and Appalachian, sea and freshwater, forest and plain.
I like the smells of autumn: the subtle salt fragrance of the incoming tide, the fallen leaves, the whiff of a wood stove, caramel popcorn on Côte de la Montagne…
I listen in to the ghost tours of Quebec, regularly crisscrossing our neighbourhood each evening. I sometimes have the impression the city actually has secret moods, and I catch these moods, particularly after nightfall.