Posts Tagged: toronto’s harbourfront

friday part two

 

 

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Looking into the Harbour from the Toronto Music Garden. Near Queens Quay and Spadina.

 

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Maypole sculpture. Toronto Music Garden, near Queens Quay and Spadina.

 

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Super Moon rising over Lake Ontario. Toronto's Harbourfront.

The problem with posting early in the day is that you might find some great images later!  After dinner Ceri and I take a walk, first in the Toronto Music Garden, and then over to the Harbourfront Centre.  I don't need to tell you it was a beautiful evening.

 

Family Day

 

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Family Day Action at the Harbourfront Centre, Queens Quay at Lower Simcoe, Toronto

 

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Winter Strolling, Queens Quay near Rees Street, Toronto

 

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The Wave Deck, Queens Quay near Lower Spadina, Toronto

Debbie and I slept in a bit today, having sat up late talking with Ceri and our grown up "kids."  She put together a fruit plate which we ate over coffee.  Jared came over to visit again before work.  I made us a strata for breakfast.  Deb and I shared the labour on a double batch of quinoa patties and then she hit the road back home. 

A quiet afternoon for me.  I went out and got some vitamin D amidst the busiest Harbourfront action I've seen since last fall.  I like that people embrace the (new-ish) Family Day holiday.  I'm sure thankful for my family.

looking to land

The recent period of long, intense hours in my job have kept me away from yoga class for two weeks. Yesterday I finally went back and I didn’t feel any less fit or able after the absence, but my balance was off kilter.  It took everything I had to move into some of the poses, and more of that to stay there.  It wouldn’t take a genius to figure out that yesterday’s imbalance is indicative of a lack of equilibrium that goes beyond that mat in a yoga studio.

It hasn’t been all bad up to now; only it seems that since the heavy period ended, I’m flying around trying to find a place to land.  Or maybe I’m just resisting the landing, wanting to be floated along on the waves of air like that gull I watched the other day. 

The big proposal went in last Friday and as I handed it off to the person who would print it and deliver it, I felt like I was handing her a 100 pound weight.  I walked out of the office and opened my eyes to acknowledge the approaching weekend with a wagonload of gratitude.  Apros pos, because it was Thanksgiving, and three days of freedom sat on my horizon, and each of those three days was forecasted to be spectacular – sunshine and 20+C temperatures.  It was like someone was handing us those days as a reminder to be thankful. 

And it was easy to be thankful every minute of those three days; they were bright, clear, soft and breezy, and the nights cooled down for the best kind of open window sleeping. 

Actually, the sleeping didn’t come for me proper until the following Tuesday, another indication of my off-kilter state.  But it didn’t matter; when you get days like that, it’s easy to climb out of your petty personal concerns. 

Monday, Thanksgiving Day, I sat in the sun and watched some fellas bustling around on a sailboat, readying her to sail.  I felt a stab of envy a little while later as I watched them glide off into the harbour.  As her sails rose in the sunlight, I wished I could lie on that deck, an invisible stowaway drifting off to anywhere. 

I was carrying a journal and in it I wondered where the escape desires were coming from.  I hadn’t experienced them in a long time, since years ago when I was so desperate to leave a job and a city.  I’m not feeling anything like that now; in fact I would even say I am pretty content about things. 

I know the sailboat desires were just me wanting to get back on an even keel.  (Schmaltzy pun, but it’s appropriate.)  I wrote a little more and painted a little and got not a little pleasure in the process, but my mind wandered, lost in the freedom of time – like that floating bird. 

My girls had gently nudged me into the idea of Thanksgiving on Friday.  Anticipating the weather and at least one more rooftop dinner, I couldn’t fathom anything like a traditional meal.  I was tired.  But they eased me into that idea too; and though we sat in the sun on the rooftop patio to enjoy it, we had a meal of turkey breast and roasted potatoes and beets and green beans and squash and even pumpkin pie.

I went to bed that night, grateful again, and still unable to sleep. 

Things are quieting at work and as another week approaches I'm considering the landing.  I'll keep working at my Tree Pose; maybe that will help.

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not february

It’s hot. I’m not complaining; even when it’s upwards of 35°C, I can still remember February. 

It’s hot still when I go out for my walk at 10 pm.  The minute I step outside the air hugs in close like that blanket I’m dreaming about when I walk outside in February.  I get across the street to the lake and it’s not much better.  Everything and everyone has slowed down, even the water swells lazily against the piers, and ducks lollygag around, probably wondering why the stupid humans don’t just get in the water.  I know I’m tempted.

Even the moon looks hot, so deep in colour it looks like it’s encased in amber, hanging sluggish in the sky behind thin, black cloud ribbons.  Lovers loll about on grass pushing hair off shoulders, kissing lazily. Dogs amble along behind their humans.  A solitary skater doesn’t work too hard as he arcs on one edge of wheel, then the other. 

As I approach York Quay, I feel the smallest drop in temperature; there must be a breeze coming in from the east.  There’s a little more action down here as if the people feel it too.  Restaurant patios are full, more groups of people are hanging about on the pier taking pictures of one another.  While I stop at the end to look at that orange moon still reluctant to climb higher, a guy behind me is hitting the wooden pier with two sticks in a repetitive beat.  I might normally enjoy that, but he’s not very good at it; the beat doesn’t roll out of him naturally, instead it seems forced, with missed hits and awkward pauses.  I find it annoying and intrusive against the hot night and so I move on towards home.

Back on the quieter end, boats sway against their docks.  Most are dark, residents shut inside against the heat.  Except one fella, stretched out flat in a chaise lounge on his deck.  I’m envious; I wish I could sleep on a boat deck tonight.

I get home and I’m soaked through like a wet rag.  Not willing to go anywhere near my lovely clean sheets like this, I take a cool shower and sit down to write while my hair dries.

real hearts, a rainbow supper and doing nothing in particular

The weekend was like the most spectacular gift the gods of late summer could muster: sunshiny, clear, breezy and free of commitment.  It was the kind of weekend that enveloped me in its wide, generous arms and wouldn't let go.  And I was happy to stay there and honour its whims.  It was two days of hanging out in the harbour – people watching, reading, photographing, feeling the sun and relishing the freedom.  

None of my attempts to photograph the light on the lake can capture how spectacular it looks – like billions and billions of floating diamonds shining so bright they hurt my eyes. 

Me and a strawberry ice cream cone wander into a crowd of chuckling people to find a busker riding the smallest bicycle in the world.  Just beyond, a lady dressed in officy looking gear hobbles in painful looking high heels and sips from a giant can of Sapporo beer.

In the middle of one meandery walk I sit on a bench under a tree, and the feeling of the breeze on my skin is like swaths of silk being trailed across it.  A man sits next to me and we both try to capture photographs of greedy squawking seagulls going after bits of bread being thrown into the water by some girls.  His camera is much more impressive than mine, and I soon give up on the birds and try out some shots of peoples’ feet and legs as they walk by.

I loll on the grass and flip pages of a magazine while I watch the action on the water.  People crowding around the perimeters of tour boats and sailing ships.  Others kayaking and canoeing toward the island.  Sailboats leaning deep in the wind.  Plane after plane setting down into the airport.

Sunday, Carly texts me from the baseball game and says she will come down and meet me after.  We have a beer next to the bandshell and we’re glad we don’t have to listen to the bad girly hip hop music for too long.  Kelsey texts and she’s coming down too so we plan a simple meal and buy a bottle of wine and go back to my place. 

We eat baguette with olive oil and fresh grated parmesan and black pepper and we catch up on our news and plans.  We admire the colour in our meal: red field tomatoes, yellow corn on the cob, orange and red peppers, green asparagus.  We think the corn might be the best we’ve had this season.  Later Carly takes off to go meet up with some friends and Kelsey and I finish the wine.  I walk out with her to meet the streetcar, and then walk down by the water to try and hang on to that last few minutes of the weekend, feeling thankful for the spontaneous summer supper with my girls.

It’s the kind of weekend that sets you right again.  I’m facing Monday with a deeper suntan and a rested mind.   And it wasn’t until it the weekend was over that I realised just how much I needed those two days of glorious late summer and doing nothing in particular with them.