Tomorrow I leave for Paris for a fairytale eight and a half week summer stay. Today I will clean and pack and perseverate about details long taken care of, but which I will fret about and double, triple, quadruple check on. I will worry that I have forgotten to take care of something super small but super important, like realizing my flight is today and not tomorrow.
I’m freaking out, people. I’m freaking out.
But right now, at this moment, I sit at a long, Canadian Redwood (or perhaps it’s Red cedar?) picnic table under a grey, marshmallowy sky that offers a peaceful calm I more than need.
I sit at the Brickworks not alone but with my laptop and Bandwagon-blessed fairly-traded coffee and organic soya milk, purchased at the Farmers’ Market held here every Saturday. I came here to buy a very traditional gift of some Canadian Maple Syrup as a present for my friend Renaud who owns a restaurant in Paris called Le Bébé. It is his forty-fifth birthday today. I got him a bottle each of grade one, two and three. Grade one is made from the early season sap and is the lightest and sweetest. Grade two, mid-season, darker, less sweet. Grade three, you do the math.
I am in love with Grade One.
If you get here really early, it is a Gastronomical Graceland of locally grown and made breads, cheeses, jams, sauces, fresh sandwiches, quiches, salamis, produce, meats, tarts, spices, and on and on.
You sneak in, get your coffee, and perhaps a treat (usually I’m “good” and just look), and then duck behind the beautiful, historic, graffiti-kissed building and enjoy the lush green falaise and the trails and a small taste of Nature right here in the heart of Toronto. If you get here later on, par contre, say after nine or ten, you will be trampled by the yuppies and their strollers and their toddlers. Surprisingly, though, they’re not annoying. Kids are cute! It isn’t, after all, like the Hipsters En Masse you find at Those Trendy Coffee Shops. Ugh.
But it’s crowded. So come early.
As I sit here at my little picnic table, in front of me, a woman takes a picture of some graffiti on the wall I am facing and this little acknowledgment slash appreciation of the art or the message has made me Very Happy! “Tout est possible,” the pretty tag reads. I love it. A nice message and en français! Oh my goodness! Moments later, a man takes his fancy camera and does the same thing. I love it. The artist would be thrilled, I am sure. 😉
Sitting here in sweet, serene solitude, I am separated in Mental Miles from the increasing amount of dogwalkers and young families around me. I am embraced by the comforting lullaby of the dull grey sky, thankful for it in lieu of the rock and roll of a hot, beating sun. I am in an Emotional No Man’s Land. The last six months or more have been lived simply as the preparation for This Moment. This Moment, which will last all summer long, begins tomorrow. Today, I am at a very brief, momentous, tumultuous?, crux in my realites. It is like the trilllisecond where the future becomes the present has been nearly halted…and I am caught in its pause-play freefall. It lasts one day and that day is today. My only summer day in Toronto.
Tomorrow I leave for Paris for a fairytale eight and a half week summer stay. I’m freaking out people.
I’m freaking out.