Thursday, February 4, 2010


There are downsides in being a writer: rejection, isolation, writer’s block, self-doubt, lack of regular pay, a printer that devours ink cartridges. Still, there is so much on the upside that I dream of this becoming my year-round, full-time career. One of the many perks is having a flexible schedule, something that never existed during my years as an educator where bells and timetables ruled.

That flexibility allows me to take in special events when they arise. Today, the Olympic torch came to the Sunshine Coast. How could I not take a break to partake in the festivities?

Before the big event, I relocated my writing venue to the Gibsons Library. I plugged away on my laptop while glimpsing the increasing activity at the park and marina as people of all ages congregated in anticipation of the torch’s arrival. While this was a proudly Canadian event, it seemed to take on an “American Idol” atmosphere. A guy in a moose costume intrigued a standard poodle that kept lunging at the antlered beast. I spotted clowns, one of whom sported a gigantic Nerf camera around his neck. A woman made a dress out of Canada flags. I got to feeling like the silly one, daring to show up in jeans and a plain black jacket.

Everything came together perfectly as the torch made its way through town. It was as quaint and breathtaking a scene as one would find anywhere in Canada. The temperature hit a balmy 10˚C and the sun shone. Boats slumbered in the marina while Keats Island maintained its rustic, forested persona a short water taxi ride away. Beyond it, snow dusted the North Shore Mountains, not enough for the upcoming Olympic events at the Cypress Bowl, but a sight to stop and behold nonetheless.

Indeed, it was a day for stopping and beholding. I got so caught up in the moment that I raced toward home to catch more of the torch relay near the ferry terminal. As a result, I’ll be writing late into the evening, but I am privileged to do so.

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