Following breakfast this morning at the trough on the 18th floor of the hotel we checked out electronically and descended with our luggage from the suite in the sky overlooking Toronto harbour to the commotion of the lobby below. The city was alive with Monday morning vigour. We’re currently situated adjacent Front Street directly across from the Royal York hotel in Union Station at the lounge waiting to board the eastbound train to bring us home.
After an eight year absence I imagine it will be another long stretch – if indeed ever again – before we return to Toronto. Having lately exhausted my erstwhile profligacy (and thus my former rampant retail curiosity); and, the appetite for foraging and carousing about the city having likewise evaporated long ago, my interest in Toronto is destined to be retrospective only. This weekend’s occasion was unique in every regard. It focused upon an ulterior motive which bypassed the customary draw of the city. And because our intention was directed to a sole purpose which was accomplished on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, the remainder of our time was spent within the confines of the hotel, in the sauna, in the swimming pool, afternoon tea and dining at the Library Lounge.
We had the advantage once again upon our departure as we did upon our arrival of the assistance of a VIA Rail employee. He was a colourful gentleman of Italian descent who as recently as yesterday celebrated his ancestry in his local Italian enclave. In addition to winding past the lineups and into a lounge more proximate to the departure track, he ported our luggage onto the train and stuffed it into the luggage closet. We were the first to be seated in Business class. Our seats are more accommodating than our prior journey. They are located immediately ahead of the window bulkhead so the view is decidedly less obstructed.
As well the engineer of the train appears to have more head than the one who got us to Toronto. Our car rocks back and forth, occasionally jerks forward and seems at times bumpy. The station stops transpire more quickly. The trees and buildings whiz past more violently.
It pleases me to withdraw progressively from the urban centres and to regain the comfort and relative tranquility of the country. The ambient temperature has risen from 72º to 76º. The sky has cleared.
I earlier satisfied my burning inquisitiveness regarding a bespoke creation by telephoning the artist. In his inimitable blasé manner he did what he could first thing on a Monday morning to bring me up to date. Suffice to report that consummation approaches. Though this particular venture isn’t terribly unique within my historical scope, I am as usual overly anxious to complete it. More significantly the production represents a commission of especial attraction to me because it symbolises to me my final years on the face of the earth. I distinguish the commission as the product of Nature’s refinement. It aligns with my overall philosophical reduction and embrace of simplicity.