Tuesday, June 27, 2006

No Viable Alternative

These past couple of days I've been commuting to the apartment from the home of congregation members who are hosting me. It's a whole new way of life; gathering everything for the days work in bags the night before, checking to make sure I've keys to get out of the house, to get into the car, to unlock the steering wheel lock. (We are taking no chances with getting the car stolen again). And then there’s a key to get into the apartment building, another to get into the apartment itself. Hello #206, at last! Keys, keys and more keys. What would we do without them?

As well as being prepared with things and keys there’s calculating what time to leave in order to get there on time. It's just a ten minute drive but at rush hour it could be a bit longer. Incidentally rush hour in Edmonton is like normal traffic anywhere else. And on this short commute I've even contemplated joining the rest of Canada queuing for coffee and Timbits at Tim Hortons. But so far I've settled for tea and instant oatmeal for breakfast, after morning meditation.

Timbits are to Canada what Big Mac's are to the rest of the world. Tim Hortons is the nation’s favorite 'pit-stop' chain, founded and named after the famous hockey player, and should not go without mention while I’m still in this wonderful country.

So this morning at 6.30 am as I sailed north up 109 Street, accompanied by the Gold and Silver Waltz, I had an appreciation of what it's like to commute. Back in the early 1970's I drove one to two hours up the A3 to London in a venerable VW bug. There was heat which reached to my right foot only, no radio, very little synchromesh, and suspect breaks. And I loved that bug to pieces. Ah, happy days.

It was during those long commutes, nose to tail at high speed through the Surrey countryside, that I learnt something of sitting still. Much latter while parked for two hours, or more, on the M25 London orbital, I passed through the impatience barrier to a deeper acceptance.

Sometimes one learns to sit still because there is no viable alternative at the time! Waiting in traffic has never been the same since that M25 incident. Uh! Maybe I'll stop for some Timbits tomorrow morning.