I just returned from another business trip in Toronto. This is what I wrote in my lovely room at The French Connection bed and breakfast…
It is good to be here. In this place.
Good to wander on Queen Street where the city pulses with life.
Good to meander along the path at the bottom of the ravine where trees and bird song muffle the sounds of traffic far away.
Good to sleep in this lovely bed with smooth green sheets, while stripes of muted light reflect on the ceiling above me.
Good to eat with Karla and Mark and meet the beautiful and longed for baby Nate. Good to see them so in love with each other and their son.
Good to light the candle at the end of a long day and sip on a cup of tea brewed in a pretty white teapot.
Good to finally realize, after a long walk on the first day, that I have finally left the baggage of delinquent designers and projects past deadlines behind me for a while.
Good to eat Mexican food with Dan and talk about the places the open mind wanders.
Good to eat the bountiful breakfast Diane provides at her stylishly set table with the faint sounds of Vivaldi softening the room.
Good to talk to colleagues and associates with common visions and ideas, as well as common bumps and bruises.
Good to have lunch with Uncle Menno and to hear him use the word “repulsive” as his personal reaction to churches that won’t let women lead.
Good to wander in the drizzly rain with and without an umbrella.
Good to ride the subway, to hear the screech of the brakes and click-clack of the tracks, to feel the heartbeat of a traveler in my veins, and to watch the myriad of people coming and going.
Good to meet Sam and Pauline, fresh from Kenya, so out of place in their high-rise visitor suite in downtown Toronto but such gracious hosts even here.
Good to eat Indian food with people who have wandered the world in many directions and always found a way to value their place in it.
Good to be alone and let the solitude clear the clutter from my mind.
Good to feel confident and alive and on the road to something important as I present my ideas again and again to fresh faces at each meeting.
Good to listen to music in my room and let it move and soothe me.
Good to talk to travelers around the breakfast table – the American who left the air force, the Italian woman expecting her first baby, the Belgian computer programmer who surprises his colleagues by choosing b&b’s, and Diane, our host, who has traveled the world, lived in Africa, and found her calling making other travelers feel at home in her own comfortable space.
Good to feel equally comfortable surrounded by people or wandering alone.
Good to eat Diane’s fresh homemade croissants.
Good to wander around the mighty castle on the hill, committing the images of flowers to digital memory.
Good to find four good books at the Goodwill Store for a dollar each.
Good to be confided in by a new friend and kindred spirit.
Good to curl up in bed reading Of This Earth, almost as though my dad were reading over my shoulder, chuckling at the memory of his own Mennonite boyhood.
Good to have the fullness of these experiences and then go home to my beloved.
Good to be alive and feel it.