Thursday, July 22, 2010

Welland Ontario

I took my time driving down to Welland today, accompanied by a live acoustic Jackson Browne CD full of Browne's typical little-us-under-a-big-sky kind of songs.

Welland looked, to me, as it always does; smaller than it really is, with small houses (though more than big enough).

In the little school with little classrooms and little chairs, in the little library, I catalogued books. Big books. With big pictures; windows into worlds as vivid, rich and imaginary as our own, but each one different. At 3 the cleaning staff departed and left me in perfect quiet solitude.

I finished the cataloguing project but I will return one more day over the summer for more mundane cataloguing maintenance. There are older books requiring attention of various types.

I adore this little library and this "little" town. I sense a good-hearted simplicity here; an air of guilelessness with just a hint of melancholy. All stemming from highly subjective personal interpretation of course. My own recollections of grade-school experience are a blend of sweet and solemn.

I look forward to September; to the return of the staff - a most warm, sincere and dedicated crew. And of course it will be excellent to see again the returning grade-seven-come-eights who I worked with last year. This time around they will have a superior experience given my own learning from last year. The coming year will feature a writing group and I'm cooking up some very special surprises for them!

Leaving town I left the stereo off before hitting the highway because the truck is just developing an exhaust leak so if I must subject the locals to its grumbles, the least I can do is subject myself as well. I accelerated slowly out of each turn; zig-zagging through the neighborhood. Every street is a shelf; every house a collection of stories. People sit on porches, some of them in groups, smiling and talking; some of them alone and still-faced. To those I almost have the urge to wave.

Any town we spend some time in develops a personality it seems, and this one suits me verily. But I maintain this is mostly illusion; subjective experience. In the end every town is built of the very same components; streets and bricks and pipes and wires and human beings of every possible ilk.

It would be nice to move to Welland but in reality Grimsby and St. Catharines are more probable. Welland will likely remain a very nice place to visit.


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