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Wild Spaces

Philip Lee’s Restigouche: The Long Run of the Wild River


Looking through our curated list of Great Outdoors reads, Philip Lee’s Restigouche: The Long Run of the Wild River stands out to me (and not just because it’s new). As copies of Philip’s book pass through our doors to our valued readers, I wonder what hands await them because I have never read a location piece that could appeal to so many; a canoe journey that could snag the attention of a homebody, such as myself; a history lesson that could leave you hungry for the stories of all natural spaces. Restigouche feels heavy, not from pages, but from the weight of the words beneath its cover.

Every year the ice run leaves behind scars on rocks and trees, witness marks in a story of change that passes through a vast measure of time.

Though everyone is tired of hearing the words COVID-19, I must bring it up one more time, only because it has ignited a movement to find pleasure in nature while other forms of entertainment are lacking. All our featured books this month support an enjoyment of nature, but returning back to the great outdoors is about more than our own gratification, and Philip’s book illustrates this by reminding readers that nature has a history that is as important to understand as our own.

We’ve made our beds beside the water, watched the last light reflect off the tops of towering balsam firs heavy with moss, and then stood in a warm circle of first light by the river to drink a cup of coffee brewed over a morning fire.

Restigouche is not just the story of one river but an exploration of how humans live in relation to the natural world. Though I have never spent time on the Restigouche, the river’s tale is a powerful one, and when I look upon the Saint John River, the Belleisle Bay, or even the little human-made lake beside my childhood home, I see so much more than water. They have never felt as alive as they do now.

A wild river supports a grand tapestry of life, and since the moment of its creation, and in every movement since, it is in itself beautiful and complete.

But not everyone lives next to a river. As you filter through our selected titles or dive into the pages of Restigouche, tell us about places that are calling to you? Share your natural oasis with us, be it a trail, river, garden, or forest. Post a picture on social media with #MyRestigouche and tag us! It’s time we all gave a little appreciation for the wonders of our world.



By Meaghan Laaper

All quotations are from Restigouche: The Long Run of the Wild River by Philip Lee. Check it out HERE if you want to read more.

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