Silver Birch Beach in Toronto feels like a neighbourhood beach, sparsely populated with families and dog walkers, as well as a few lone beachcombers and gazers deep in thought.
This relaxed beach tells a story of the ancient geology of the Canadian Shield, formed of igneous and metamorphic rocks, some of them billions of years old. Ancient gneiss boulders from the Canadian Shield have been piled up to form jumbled and massive jetties that project into the lake. Windy days create Gothic dramas of waves slamming onto rocks with an unimaginably long history. Deep within the earth, these gneiss rocks had been under tremendous pressure for eons, and their minerals became separated and squeezed into alternating bands of black, red or pink, and white. Now, the lake slowly erodes them, and their particles continue the rock cycle by laying future sedimentary beds.
This morning, the lake was placid and still, a place where it’s possible to find a slow rhythm within the deep time of rocks.