We are inundated with water, from lakes to rivers to beaches. The movement of water molecules, sun glinting off a surface, a frozen patch in winter.

"Water Lilies" by Manahil Bandukwala
“Water Lilies on the Ottawa River”

Along the Ottawa River, beyond the buzzing of the city, I first saw lily pads. Lily pads bigger than my face and white lotus flowers floating in the gentle wind.

"Rideau Canal at Sunset" by Manahil Bandukwala
“Rideau Canal at Sunset”

Ottawa is centered around the Rideau Canal. The world’s longest skateway in winter, and a place to watch sunsets in summer. One autumn evening, the sun set on Ottawa in such a way that the whole city stopped to watch.

"Toronto Skyline, as seen from Richard's Memorial Park" by Manahil Bandukwala
“Toronto Skyline, as seen from Richard’s Memorial Park”

A calm beach on a lakeshore where Toronto’s impressive skyline shadows in the distance. Even this far away from the big city, it’s difficult to get away from.

"Starry Night on Mooney's Bay Beach" by Manahil Bandukwala
“Starry Night at Mooney’s Bay Beach”

On a sunny summer afternoon, I sat at Mooney’s Bay Beach and painted the sky in swirls, sprinkling sand into the wet paint.