Well, it was a long day in the office yesterday.
Wednesdays, the first day after the newspapers production cycle ends and the new paper gets printed. It’s generally a restart day.
I go through my runsheet of stories, eliminate those that are finished, mark those that will need follow-up in the coming weeks, and mark any new ones that have come in via email, or phone calls, or just things I’m interested at looking into.
With that done, it’s generally research time. Gathering information on certain stories for the week, sending out initial emails for comments or to set up interviews, and reading city reports.
Being a city hall reporter, the amount of dry staff reports you have to read is just mind boggling. If you can get around the buzzwords (if I read the word “accountability”, “transparency” or “sustainable” one more time I’ll march down to City Hall myself and toss a Thesaurus at the head of whoever writes these things), but if you can get past those there are generally stories hidden inside them.
Well, it was another gorgeous day in the city today and with quitting time approaching, I grabbed my camera off my desk, dropped it into my bag and headed down to the lake to see if I could catch the sun going down.
The light this time of year is absolutely beautiful.
Already golden from the sun, it takes on a hazy, powdery quality that seems to hang in the air, covering everything in a pinkish, sepia-toned glaze.
The parking lot was nearly full. Lakeview Park is generally a pretty popular spot, but mostly people sit in their cars and smoke, staring out at the water. Others walk to the end of the pier, either arm in arm or pushing a stroller or with a skipping kid in tow.
I walked down to the water’s edge, my boots kicking up dry tufts of sand. I glanced out at the pier, thinking about the last time I’d walked to the end of it.
It was a few months back, in the summer, and I was extremely happy. I smiled to myself at the memory. I had still been smoking at that point and that portion of the memory got my chest tightening and my throat aching. I swallowed it back and headed down the beach.
Despite the number of cars in the parking lot, the beach was deserted. The only sounds were the waves rolling on shore and the wind through the leaves still clinging to the trees on the ridge above me.
Someone had dragged a bench down and placed it at the water’s edge during low tide. Now, the waves were washing up around it’s legs.
I timed my stride and hopped up on top when the wave receded out.
The horizon was starting to turn pink and the large point that reached out into Lake Ontario on my right was starting to glow as the sun fell down behind it.
The warmth of the day was starting to fade and the cool breeze was making my eyes water, but I slung my camera over my shoulder, stuck my hands in my pockets and stood there.
The same way some people will empty their pockets of keys, spare change and lint when they get home from a long day (spare pens and crumpled notebooks in my case) I also like to do this with my thoughts.
When you use you brain for almost nine straight hours I find it can get stuck in gear, and when you want to wind down at the end of the night, it just keeps going and going until you finally burn it out.
I’ve taken to emptying my mental pockets at the end of the night, whether that’s through a quick run, a half-hour with the PS4, or even a book if I’m really into it. I’ve got to be really into it or else the reading can just feel like work.
So, I stood on that bench, let the waves come washing in beneath me, and let my mental pocket lint drift down and be swept away into Lake Ontario.
Thanks for reading.