I got back from my day away in Toronto late this afternoon. Scott and the kids picked me up and with Bonnie, we had a great afternoon of walking, playing in parks and eating treats galore. The time I had on my own was perfect. The time flew, we went out for meals, saw a movie (Midnight in Paris, new Woody Allen, so great!), bought too many books, and went to see Ann Patchett speak in the Annex for the Luminato Festival. She read a great and horrifying passage from her new book, State of Wonder, and was interviewed by non-other than Shelia Rogers, which was a great surprise. Their talk, on a stage before the audience in two oversized chairs was very quick-witted and inspiring. She didn't talk as much about writing as art in general and the relationship between author and reader and how that's the moment art is born, not when the words are penned, but when the reader comes into contact with them and things pop. All of the visit was a kick to make me realize that I am something other than a mother, and a wife and a homemaker (cringe!) I am trying to be a writer, and I'm saying that more and more loudly these days, not to convince myself of it's truth or worth, but to make me accountable for it.
And I realized, like always after and during visits there, how much I do love the city and miss it. Being in the Annex, our old neighbourhood, was so familiar. I didn't have to think about where to put the token in the subway station, I could have gotten through the turnstiles and up and down the street into my old favourite shops blindfolded. But at the same time, it seemed like such a different lifetime, tucked away and remembered as our life together, starting out, before kids. It's good to know it's still there and available for us to visit, but I never need to go back for more than a visit.
So thank you to my Aunt B for all of it, down to being able to sleep in this morning. Thanks to Scott for having such a great time with the kids, getting to Rosie's soccer game and lingering this morning at home to give Bonnie and I even more time together to just go slow. I'm happy and feeling light tonight, although tired for so much walking (I hate to admit!), the kind of walking you almost don't remember doing because you were so engaged in talking the entire time. A very happy day.