Several times, I've talked with friends about the pros and cons of living downtown in Toronto, and I often get asked, "Don't you hate all the bustling sounds of the city?" My reply is a resounding, "Nope! Don't mind it all, in fact!"
Something about the white-noise of pedestrian chatter and busker music and traffic hustle all get remixed into a soundtrack I truly enjoy having run behind my everyday. The city is energy. The city is community. I never felt that in the suburbs, at least in North York. Maybe I wasn't mature enough, or open-minded enough, to look for that kind of energy in suburbia.
But. Now I'm on the Toronto Islands, here for a week-long residency to work on my next poetry book. I'm surrounded by enveloping green and curious ducks and breezes stone-skipping off the lake water...I definitely don't miss the cacophony of Toronto right now.
I was reading poetry while sun-tanning on the Gibraltar Point beach, letting my feet squeeze into the sand, the heat gently baking me. Not too hot, though. It was perfect. I miss this. I need this.
Thing is, I thought I would would miss the city sounds. Because as I got older, I learned to appreciate every nuance of that downtown collage. I could find comfort in the dogs fighting over the same hydrant, or curl a smile when a car blasted some old George Clinton. Something about the constant radio of the urban mess...it pulls me in. Then lulls me.
I'm rambling. What I mean to share with you, as if you didn't come to this realization dozens of times in your life, is how being around nature can be so refreshing for city residents like me. Especially since I don't have a cottage to escape to, nor do I have friends who regularly go camping (anymore).
It's only Day Two of this residency but I'm already feeling energized and realized by this rekindling my relationship with the natural world. I know, that's odd, the calm coupled with the thrill, but I guess that's the ebb and flow of dipping into Mother Earth's dance.
And it's been a long time coming, but wow it feels good to be her dancing partner this week.
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