My weekend was restorative. I decompressed from the hellish work week previous and all that time not doing things at home. Like laundry. It was the perfect weekend for a recovery.
Saturday morning I awake to rain (never a sorry sound to wake up to as far as I’m concerned) and then thunderstorms and then drizzling rain and blustery, chilly dampness. I get out anyway and nose around downtown and buy some groceries and a few other items I’d been wanting. One could never accuse me of spoiling too much weekend doing things like housework.
Sunday morning shows pity on us weekenders, and opens the curtains wide, letting the heavens shed down a most welcome and most luminescent heat. I attend the Muhtadi International Drumming Festival up at Queen's Park. The afternoon is pretty much perfect; I move between sunny spots and shady spots and listen to drum sounds that at once electrify you and plant you on the earth. (Drumming arts at a time one needs some soul reviving: beautiful thing number forty.)
I've arranged to meet up with Kelsey so I walk slowly back through the University of Toronto Campus. It strikes me how I’d forgotten how much I love to be on a campus, and I wonder what life would be like had I chosen a path of academia. I don’t dwell on that thought too long, but I decide I need to visit this university more often. A campus bursting with green under sunlight: beautiful thing number forty-one.
As I’m heading back toward College St., groups of heavily garbed Muslim women pass me by going the other way. I can’t help but feel the contrast in us, me in my summer skirt and cleavage revealing tank top and sandals. Having just turned 50, I embrace my cleavage as a badge of honour, but the opposing theories regarding what one wears as a badge of honour is palpable as I move amongst the young women.
I smile at them as I would any stranger passing me by, though most of them, chatting amongst themselves or with thoughts elsewhere, ignore me. But then one woman makes a point of pausing to smile back with a small wave. I wave back, and the turn of her body in her long black gown and veil and charming smile makes me think suddenly of that nun who flashed the peace sign in the Woodstock movie.
Let's call the smiling women, one at the U of T on a sunny day in June 2011 and one on a muddy concert site in August 1969, beautiful things number forty-two and forty-thee.
I walk down to Spadina Ave. and hook up with Kelsey and we have dinner on a patio then take a meandering walk around the Harbourfront piers, chatting as the sun sinks in the sky and loosens its hold on the day. And I even finish the laundry.