Parades in the key of Life

This was one of those wonderful “first meetings” in a coffee shop in downtown Montreal. We had chosen, not on purpose, the morning of the Santa Clause parade and the participants were all around us for the first hour. The lady still remains a good friend and wonderful conversation (and too long, too fast walk) partner, but the setting and the wonder of the meeting were very special, and this was written the day after..
Capricious elves danced in her soft blue eyes, as the waitress brought the coffee, and the gentle stories flowed from a soul that loved lives. The participants of the Santa Clause parade streamed in and out of the building and could be seen in the window behind me, throughout the coffee shop and reflected in anything I was looking at, and right now, it was those eyes.

The smile on my face was a combination of the surprise that some people can be better than your hopes and dreams, the realization that the stories were a painting of the lives and loves that flow around us every day, and the contentment at just sitting back and listening to someone who is truly interesting. I could understand why over a million people would want to participate in her thoughts every week, but now, it was just me, and I was receiving the benefit of that million person energy. Her words tumbled out one after the other, sometimes waiting and waiting as the answer to a question was unfolded, sometimes exposing stories like strings of pearls, each a part of days past, futures hoped for, and today. Each story was a clue to her soul or a reflection of her heart, each gathered carefully and considered, each put in their place for remembrance and reflection.

We had arrived here on the wings of my writings, and the hopes of the incredible, a chance taken with no road in sight, just a starting place, but for today that was sufficient. I must confess to being a man who will go off at full speed in one direction to get to where he wants, and sometimes needs, to go, but today was a day for standing still and admiring the surroundings and the beauty.

We listened to tales of sadness on sadness, history and recollections, redemption and rescue, hope and plans. Dreams were scattered all over attached by a string of determination and energy. Visions were tacked on the walls, each an unformed picture, a vague idea, a realization of destination without the requisite roadmaps. Each of these was, in fact, just a piece of a large and complex puzzle assembling itself before my eyes…. large tracts of the puzzle were missing, but apparent from the joined pieces that surrounded them… small areas were indistinct like a Monet painting, but I knew that some would come into focus as the surrounding pieces were added and others would stay indistinct and wonderfully mysterious, to be wondered at and admired, guessed at but never questioned. Jagged button edges lay just at the edge of vision suggesting that the puzzle, the future, was larger than imagined at this time if only the right pieces could be found.

I listened to the plans and in each were the seeds of action to be taken immediately, and the laughing “Whoa boy!” in the back of my head as each campaign laid itself out in tenths of seconds, and was packed away just as quickly… items in a hope chest, well wrapped, preserved and not to be forgotten. Each dream of hers was accompanied by a corresponding idea of his, like couples pairing up at a cotillion, marching in double file, around a corner and out of site as the next couple were presented and paired.

She was beautiful and timeless but still the minutes and hours flew by way too fast, not matter how much they put off other obligations, and tried to stretch the hours, life caught up to her first. In the street goodbyes turned into conversation extensions, each trying to put the parting further away, then into hugs to hold on to the thought, the memory, the feeling.

The walk away was gentle and dreamlike, happy and sad, regretful and triumphant, the lingering feel of her arms around his neck and the wonderful warmth that brought, a look back and an eye on the future. And the only hope was a single word…… soon.

One Response to “Parades in the key of Life”

  1. gt40 lover Says:

    Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.

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