Ontario is now in its third lockdown, and for some reason, this time around, it is hard. I mean, it is not like the other two were not, but this feels different, and it is downright tiring. Anyway, the focus is not on what I cannot control. The focus is on the beautiful day we had; I think the mercury rose to 22 degrees on the thermometer. We decided to take advantage of it all. We saddled our bikes and rode to the Lake. It is always so peaceful out there. The waves roared as we swung on the bike path that follows the Lake along bends and hills. The gnats were out to play, albeit not at all fairly. I think my eyelids trapped about three of them.
What I enjoy the most about our rides are the colourful conversations that we overhear along the way. There is every age group out there, so I get a glimpse of life at different stages. The older folk are always so friendly and quick with their hellos and eyes that invite you to a conversation. They are always curious about who you are, where you live, your children, your family. It is almost like they are reliving a few lost years through the answers given. Sometimes, they mention their children and grandchildren. I guess at that hour, being at the Lake alone is just them having a moment to themselves.
The Young Ones Trying to Advance Their Career
Then there are the conversations about that hated work colleague. The one that is trying to climb the ladder and is stepping on everyone to get up. We all recognize that colleague we either know them or are them though we may hate to admit the latter. Sometimes, I want to recommend the older person with a wealth of advice to offer. I seriously wonder how that conversation would go.
Parents with Young Children
Then there are the parents with young children. That is like my family in the web of conversations. Someone, too, might be listening to us as we pass and maybe making notes as I am. Our discussions are always about some funny thing a child did that the other parent missed. We tease one another a lot. Our plans for dinner, our plans for business expansion. Our parents and siblings. Mostly, something hilarious we heard another family talking about along the way. The kids are always talking about a YouTube video or a video game.
This Is Us!
The Ones Approaching Retirement
There are always groups walking together, could be friends or family. Today I heard one of the group members talking about retirement options; he sounded scared. He may have to sell the house since he did not have enough in his nest egg. That conversation interested me, but I think I started to follow too close, and the men graciously allowed me to pass.
The Dog Lovers
Many dog lovers, persons on boats, parents that are having their shared custody time and calling the other parent to inform them they are on their way.
The teenage conversations are often the most hilarious. Did you hear about so and so? Do you think a crop top would go with my new jeans? Sometimes, I want to stop and engage them, but I opt out because of how stranger danger is. I know at their ages, there is this illusion called time; I wish I could tell them it’s fleeting and while they focus on the things that make them teens, start planning a strategy that can ensure they retire by age 30. I will save my breath for my soon-to-be teenagers. Hopefully, they listen.
At our rendezvous point, we usually have water and a snack. The twins missed everything; they were fast asleep in the buggy. I am happy we decided to transport them like that rather than try to have them join us on our ride. They are now riding their big girl bikes but with training wheels. They would have fallen asleep halfway through the journey, and then we would have the task of getting their bikes home.
The Ones Going Through A Break Up
On our way back, I saw a young couple breaking up, at least that is what I gathered. I had to stop myself from yelling; it will be ok. I wanted to let her know that she will survive, but at that moment, her eyes were like daggers daring me to have an opinion. So, I rode along, heeding her warning, but she will be ok. They both will.
Today we did not complete an entire 10k ride because the deception of warmth was quickly dispelled as the sun made way for the moon. As the Spring days lengthen, we know we have a lot to look forward to, like more outside time, many more long rides and many conversations to overhear on life at that point, at that age, at that stage and everything in-between.