It is rush hour in the heart of Toronto on July 21, 1993. I load up my bike and pedal off at 7:55 a.m. A cool wind from the Northwest pushes me through some side streets. It is only where I cross major roads that I am reminded of the pace most people are traveling at\; Focused on a parking spot, getting annoyed at fellow human beings who are in their way.
I start warming up and finally I coast down a long shaded hill and emerge into a ravine. The ancient Don river flowing to the lake guides me. I ride with it, hearing the water speeding up and then slowing down. I see people walking, dogs playing, birds singing. Occasionally, while passing under a bridge, a horn or the sounds of cars remind me of the time of day, but that passes. A rabbit darts across my path, a lady reclining on a bench looks peaceful.
Sitting down at a picnic table, a dog comes by and greets me with a lick. I bite into some cool watermelon. As I glance at the hill I will have to climb to leave this urban oasis I engrave the pace I have discovered here into my mind. I have to remember when I merge with the traffic to continue to flow with the river.
It is rush hour on July 21, 1993 at 5:00 p.m. In the distance the constant hum of traffic filters through the calmness of this place. Seagulls squawking over a piece of bread is the most hectic part of rush hour at the beach. Sand is gently lifted by the breeze and falls a few feet away. A group of kids have a stone throwing contest. As my eyes drift off across the lake I am relaxed by the noiseless sails of wind surfers that dance on the water. Farther off, the cumulus clouds fall into the lake where water and sky merge together. The rhythms seem so natural and uninterrupted.
If we could only learn to live at natures pace we would never have to rush, at any hour.