My bike is speaking to me today.
Somewhere in that shed, between the toboggans and garden stakes, are wheels to freedom. The breeze is a tease and I’m almost out the door… except that I’m not. Housebound for days, with a dedicated crew of workers replacing ancient basement pipes, I am stuck at start.
I’m in good company.
Longing to escape is part of summer. Office windows are tyrannical on sunny days.
From the first apple blossoms through the last firework blast on Labour Day, anticipating something wonderful is a ritual of the season.
I wait for the fishermen to clear out so I can skinny dip with my daughters and sisters.
I wait for the marshmallow to brown, the rain to stop, the wave to come, the tomatoes to ripen, the band to take the stage.
Maybe you’re waiting too.
For the vacation you’ve so overdue for all summer to start… the Cute Smile to hurry up and walk your way before the leaves turn… for the friend to become a lover…for your kid on the cusp of a big step… for the salmon to sizzle on the cedar…waiting for the ferry…
Oh wait. Now you won’t have to, thanks to a new online ticketing system in the works to whisk you straight on through the gates to the Toronto Island Ferry.
( read story here)
I didn’t mind that wait. The line up, stacked as it was with menacing strollers and watermelon loaded wagons, was a decent reminder of what Toronto looks like on a good day. Teensy shorts, muscly tattoos, all colours and stripes in every straggly family formation. And the shoes….always a beautiful girl or two, in shaky heels, headed for an island date; fat babies, not yet sticky; bouncing broods bothering their parents, still calm, still breathing slowly as they shush, shush.
“It’s coming. Soon.”
The kids at the front extend their arms out through the bars of the gate, reaching for the ferry, for the Slushie they can taste in their minds. Mr. Goatee wonders if that stretch of beach will be free of duck feces and thinks of his carefully packed picnic. Girls, too old for the log ride, plan who will ride in front. They all stop for a moment, thinking of the splash to come.
The faces change daily, over a million last year alone. The longing remains the same.
Anticipation is delicious.
To finally get what you want is good but even better after deep longing.
I can feel the cool lake water as I slip in, if only in my daydreams. It is almost enough to drown out the banging downstairs.
Carly Simon said it best. These are the good ol’ days of anticipation.
Other line ups for usually impatient sorts: the unwashed masses
Other rituals I love: Thanksgiving pulse