Turning left


From mid-June to Labor Day weekend, for all intents and purposes, I live in a city.  Our dormant, sleepy town of 1000 grows exponentially with the summer residents who flock to Muskoka and our numbers burst at the seams sometimes feeling like 50,000 residents.  Unfortunately, unlike a city, we are not blessed with more than one lane of traffic in each direction so something as simple as turning left onto the main street is most often unforgiving and arguably frustrating.

To keep up with the non-stop stream of unfamiliar faces, local stores expand their business hours to keep up with the ever-increasing population.  Faces I recognize can only be found shopping for groceries after 9:00 pm long after the collective band of tourists have closed themselves behind their expensive doors for the night.

I wrote a post about how life changes in our little gem of a town but yesterday my world regained some semblance of normal.  Yesterday I drove away from work knowing that my drive home was going to be different.  My car meandered through the canopy of trees that mark my way home and when I got to the end of the road something magical happened.  The echo of my car signal bounced through the car as I looked left and right and saw nothing.  There was no waiting, only foot to the gas, the easing out of the clutch and a seamless entry onto the main street.  I felt my demeanor change instantly because I knew we had survived another summer.

empty streets

(image credit: margaretperry.org)

As I drove through town I looked at the lakes on either side of the bridge.  There was no congestion on the lakes or a myriad of boats fighting for docking space.  I’m sure if I stepped out of my car there would only be the distant hum of a lone engine or two.  Peace had swallowed our town and digested any remnants of the craziness from the last two months.  The silence will be short, however, as the masses will return for weekends until Thanksgiving, but, until then, locals can finally have a chance to regroup, to de-stress and to enjoy the sounds of nature that have evaded us for two months.