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  • Writer's pictureReuben Berger

Brunch on the Beach

I had made plans to meet a friend on Cherry Beach at 11:30 a.m. this Monday morning. In Toronto, the beach is only about a 15 minute bus ride from Union Station. You get on the bus in the middle of a man made setting and step off practically in the heart of nature. Before you know it you're strolling on the soft sands, perhaps a gentle breeze blowing off the lake.

I have now found my favourite bus stop in the city ~ Cherry Beach. On most days there is a food truck, and public washrooms are at the bus stop.

I brought down a wild mushroom omelette that I had made, some smoked salmon and fresh bread. We ate on the bench. A few kite surfers looking for that next breeze ~ perhaps that dream and exuberance of flying.

I asked him about his observation that many people need at least a year to get back to any kind of true excitement and working towards their dreams. Yes, seems as though any dreams that we may have forming during our childhood and 'growing up days' ended up floating somewhere deep within as we are bombarded by so much talking and disturbance in this world. Dreams need time and space to flourish and manifest in the world. More than anything, it seems as though most people could use a literal 6 month time out ~ just time for themselves, time to hear their own inner voices that few people may have taken the time to listen to.

We hung out for a while, talking about a journey to the north country. I walked some ways on the beach with him commenting on how beautiful it is to walk on a beach. Life always seemed pretty good at the beach. I said that if Toronto was like a big camp, I hardly ever get to the beach. I mentioned that when I was at summer camp, I was at the beach every day.

As I waited for the bus back to Union Station, I noticed a seagull walking around on the ground near me. The bird walked around, stood still at some points, ate some food, stood in the puddle and sipped the water a few times. It's like it's entire life was about searching for food, water while at the same time being on the alert for danger. I watched the bird for what seemed a lifetime as though I was seeing how the bird likely spends most days. It seemed as though the bird was totally on its own.

Then, at one point, the bird gracefully flew off out towards the lake and then floated to the right out of site. It was as though seeing the bird on the ground made me feel that the bird has a pretty dull life but then when the bird soared off into eternity, I realized that time on the ground seems to be for fueling up for that next flight. I realized that a bird would likely have no thoughts in its mind, just pure instinct.

I saw another seagull and observed it just flying for some time and then at one point it landed on the top of a flagpole. I sensed the bird felt pretty safe there, knowing that those 'ground critters' couldn't get the bird on the top of the pole. Resting, so majestic, just pure being.

Some moments later the bus arrived, before I knew it I was back in the concrete downtown core ~ many people coming and going but perhaps they have forgotten their dreams of really 'taking off and flying', instead kind of stuck in the mundaneness that life can become.

The 121 Bus will take you to Cherry Beach where perhaps you'll be inspired by a bird that takes off and flies.

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