The Prayer Of Longing

Hello. I should maybe explain my long absence. A few things conspired to keep me away. In order of appearance, firstly, their was a prolonged preoccupation with an existential question. It is a question that has been pondered over by many great minds. (Which should suggest to you that I got nowhere using mine.) Essentially, I wondered what ego is, its origins and nature, and why we try to protect it. After a little while though, I got distracted by music, and organizing my digital music library. Then lastly, I went on a one week holiday to Ottawa and Lake Superior, which was quite enjoyable. In fact it exceeded my expectations.

This blog will be a little different then others. Normally, I focus on my life here in Streetsville, and of course, Streetsville. Unfortunately, I have little to offer right now in that direction. So instead I am going to share a few highlights from the last few weeks, from wherever I was. I will try and keep it as short as possible, and only digress when I talk about digressing.

Below is a photo I took from the Old Power Dam looking out at the River and the Stream. It was the last time I was there, and I was accompanied only by Maribel, who rarely follows me. On the brick portion of the old Sea Cadets building someone had spray painted what at first I thought was the word BOERK. But as I stared at it, I then realized that it must be spelling BROKE.

BOERK or BROKE. You are free to decide.

One day, before I left on holidays, I was downtown Toronto, where sometimes I find myself because of work. I took photos at an intersection, and I was so pleased with them, I have decide to show you a couple. Their are unlimited opportunities for exploring and picture taking downtown. Around the same time my sister asked me to go for a ride in the country. Autumn was just beginning to make itself felt. We stopped at an old stone church, that I have visited before. Then we made our way home.

We stopped at an old stone church.

I left for holidays on Sept. 19 with my friend Edward and his wife Laura. I picked them up at their farm, and we drove East towards Kingston. We stopped to take the 1000 Island boat cruise near where the St.Lawerence River begins. The day was warm, and the boat trip was wonderful. My heart filled ip with a lot of good feeling. I would strongly recommend the tour, which is also very reasonably priced. From there we made a stop in Kingston, before making our way to Ottawa.

Taken during the 1000 Island boat cruise.

We spent two days in Ottawa. My friends are tremendous walkers and they actually stretched me a little, as I am quite out of shape. (But I am also fairly proud, and wouldn’t let them out do me.) We saw a good deal, and at one point we even crossed over the Alexandra Bridge and found ourselves in Quebec. Then returned to Ottawa via the Portage Bridge. At night we stood by Parliament Hill and listened to the bells chime from the Peace Tower. Everywhere their were people sitting on the grass, enjoying the fine weather. We also saw (and occasionally spoke to) homeless people. Some asked for money, but some seemed to just appreciate our conversation. Apparently, the virus has caused many homeless people in Ottawa to choose living on the streets rather then in the shelters.

The Rideau Canal in Ottawa, looking from Wellington Street.

We then drove West along the Trans Canada Highway, which is also 17 Highway. We stopped for the night at the home of a couple who are acquaintances of my friends. A cat was in the garage, who I spent time with. In the morning we discovered that the couples daughter had accidentally backed into the van we were renting. Fortunately, their was no damage. Only a scuff mark. We continued West, passing North Bay, before stopping in Sudbury to see the Giant Nickle. When we arrived in Massey we stopped at the home of my friends daughter Ruby and her husband Earl, who live on the Spanish River. That night I slept in a camping trailer, that sits on their property. I became chilled at one point and so grabbed a heavy blanket from the cupboard, and then I was snug.

In the morning my friends went fishing with their son-in-law. As I do not like fishing I opted instead to be dropped off on the beach. From there I walked for miles, exploring and listening to music on my cellphone. I aldo stopped at a cafe in Massey. The owner was not too friendly at first, but I seemed to win her over with my politeness. I sat down and drank a coffee while listening to the conversations of the locals. From there I crossed over the main road, and visited what is called The Chutes. Which looks sort of like a waterfall, but I guess are really just rapids.

Alexi is the dog that belongs to my friends daughter and son-in-law. He came with us on the boat ride along the Spanish River.

I walked for miles.

The Chutes, near Massey, Ontario.

On the return to Ruby’s and Earls home, I stopped to look at their cattle, which are in a field on another property. I should maybe not have got so close to them, especially as their was a very large bull, but I was curious to see if they would be curious of me. They really were. I spent some time with them, and offered an unspoken prayer on their behalf, which I will call the Prayer of Longing. Which isn’t prayer at all, is not directed to god but to the air, and is rarely answered. Still, its nice to have the longing.

I spent some time with them, and offered an unspoken prayer on their behalf.

Ruby and Earl asked if they could come with us to visit Lake Superior. We all agreed, and we became a happy little group for the next few days. We checked in to a hotel in Sault Ste. Marie, and had dinner with my friends Neil and Kyna that evening. The next day we started out early. and drove North on 17. The fall colors were spectacular. The most spectacular I had ever seen! My friends agreed. At Pancake Bay we stopped and admired the vast beauty of Lake Superior and its shoreline.

At Pancake Bay on the shore of Lake Superior.

When we reached the Montreal River we stopped to look over what was an internment camp for conscientious objectors during World War II. Edwards father had stayed there. All that remains as evidence of its existence, are a few walls of one of the original cabins. The rest of the property is now used as a trailer park. Further along the highway is a road that leads to the Montreal River Hydro Electric Dam. We parked our van, crawled through the bush, then walked back along the river towards the dam. It was quite impressive looking. Here I was able to get some nice photos of the river and the wilderness.

Looking out at the Montreal River, with the Hydro Electric Dam on my back.

That night we visited my friends Neil and Kyna at their home, sat outside on the lawn and played Horseshoes. Which I had never played before in my life. Neither had Laura it appeared, as she tended to throw them straight up, and nearly hit herself on the head a few times. With the help of a few beers, the pleasant weather, and my friends of course, I found myself cheerful. The next day we checked out of the hotel, and once again headed North on 17. We didn’t go far though, before we turned off, and drove towards Robertson Cliffs. We climbed the steep trails, until we reached the top, where we were awarded with what was, without a doubt, one of the most breathtaking sights I had ever seen. In every direction we were looking down on the trees, painted in bright reds and oranges, and far off Lake Superior. I was nearly overwhelmed by all the beauty.

My friends daughter Ruby, and her husband Earl, look out from Robertson Cliffs.

I was nearly overwhelmed by all the beauty.

We finally returned to our van, after hiking for nearly four hours. We stopped for lunch in the Soo, then continued East, retracing our route. I dropped off Edward and Laura, at Laura’s sisters home, then took Ruby and Earl to theirs. I slept again in the camping trailer, and went for a walk in the morning. In Earls barn was a small kitten that I fell in love with and did not wish to leave behind. I was heartbroken over that kitten for at least two days, maybe longer. Finally, our holiday was over, and I returned my friends home, and the van to the rental agency. The next day I was at work again.

Sonewhat renewed by the time I spent at Lake Superior, I began to pay visits to Lake Ontario. Particularly in the early morning. There were other people there too, photographers and nature lovers. We watch the sun rise, and the waves slapping at the shoreline.

Back in Streetsville, I have paid a few visits to the Cemetery. Partly to check on how the plants I put in, have been doing. Everything seems fine. Leaves, have begun to fall from the trees, and the air is cooler. For some reason I feel disheveled in my heart.

Renewed by the time spent at Lake Superior, I have begun to pay visits to Lake Ontario.
Leaves, have begun to fall from the trees, and the air is cooler.

2 thoughts on “The Prayer Of Longing”

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