On The Path To Wow

Sunday, November 6, 2011

On the Path to Wow

Leaving the post office after mailing a few Halloween cards, I turned into the roundabout that clasps our city center and spied him. Sitting on a small hill to the right of the library, his goatee twitching as he focused his gaze like a spotlight on the four tall cryptomeria trees that stand sentinel around the town fountain. Bert. The worker bee responsible for the design and execution of our city’s annual metamorphosis out of the ordinary world and into a wonderland of fairy lights, candy canes and Christmas trees. Glancing over my shoulder I could now easily see the two city trucks, full of ladders and lights, sitting on ready to begin the festive work.
Christmas Lights? Really? Well, I suppose, considering that it takes them several weeks to complete this task, and taking into account that the lights will be switched on in less that 30 days.... no doubt this is taking place precisely on schedule.

It seemed that everywhere I went that day people were shaking their heads at the speed in which the calendar pages were turning.
I can’t believe it’s almost November”, said the lady at the cleaners as she handed me my favourite black blazer, the jam stain now removed from its cuff.
Where did the summer go?”, asked the grey-haired gentleman who pushed his cart alongside mine as we both stocked up on Halloween candy.
Where indeed?

Later that afternoon, Edward and I were strolling along on our afternoon walk, our pathway strewn with the fallen scarlet maple leaves of autumn. I thought back to this same pathway in April, when the first hopeful tulips stood, new-baby pink and arrow straight, in garden after garden. I remembered our twilight walks of July, when the heady fragrance of honeysuckle and rose seemed virtually woven into the heavy humid air. I recalled our bundled up rambles in January when the colours of the day were charcoal and silver and our breath turned to fog right before us.
Cliche as it sounds, it seemed like only yesterday.

As I followed along behind Edward, I considered the now disappearing year, and it occurred to me, once again, that the natural world gives all we need to know about life - its calendar blending seamlessly with the seasons of our own existence - from carefree springtime to contemplative fall. We are all on a pathway of sorts, one often so crowded and noisy we sometimes find it hard to see all the wonders we are passing by.
There are those who hold their faces up to the sun, their ears tuned to bird song, their eyes trained for beauty.
There are those who rush along, forever looking down.
Uphill. Downhill.
There are times when we all walk alone.
Some of us can only see miles and miles of colour stretching out endlessly before us like a napping rainbow - the grass greens of May, the golds of September. Some of us - squinting perhaps, our hand over our disbelieving eyes to see a bit better in the light of the sun - can almost spot the point where the pathway might end.

Like most of the world, I was sorry to see the departure of the visionary, Steve Jobs. His remarkable journey ended far too soon. Tears pricked my eyes when I read of his last words. Looking past his family, into the space behind them, he was heard to say,
Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow”.
No matter where we are in the journey, be it winter or spring, those are the words I believe we all will be saying when our pathway runs out. And from Halloween candy to Christmas lights, I mean to enjoy the ride.
Wishing you all a most happy November!

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time
Any fool can do it
There ain't nothing to it.
Nobody knows how we got to
The top of the hill
But since we're on our way down
Might as well enjoy the ride

Isn't it a lovely ride
Sliding down
Gliding down
Try not to try too hard
It's just a lovely ride

James Taylor