Accidental Vacation

I caught a bridge the other day.

You have to live in Niagara to know what that means. I’d been hurrying to a meeting in Niagara-on-the-Lake, rushing too quickly to notice the world around me. The gambler in me made choose to take Queenston Street instead of the highway and that was my undoing. A raised bridge put an end to my progress – stopped me dead
in my tracks. For a split second, I pouted – feeling trapped and frustrated that I was going to be late.

Then it struck me – with cars lined up behind me, and that metal blockage ahead, I was being given an enforced time out. Might as well enjoy it. Getting out of the car, I walked to the bridge and leaned on the railing. The sun was warm on my face and hair, and the autumn leaves had just begun to glow red, orange and yellow on the banks of the canal. The water was sun-dappled and as I watched the ship sail past the bridge, the crew waved and I waved back, feeling as if all was right with the world. Had I left the house a bit earlier, I might have made it across that bridge in time and I’d have zoomed on out to my meeting. Sure…I’d have seen the leaves and felt the sun through the sunroof, but I wouldn’t have stopped and really experienced them as I did on that bridge. And yes…I was a couple of minutes late for my meeting but, as I’m a writer and not a heart surgeon, no one died waiting for me.

That unexpected moment in the sun was the high point of my day – like a tiny, accidental vacation. Sometimes, it’s good to give up and let life take its course – to relax and make the best of the things you can’t change, to enjoy the moment.

Is a travel writer with weekly columns in the Toronto Star, various other newspapers and She's a thrilled to be a blog contributor, and is inspired by the people she's met through White Oaks.