Thursday, May 11, 2006

An Hour at Christie Pits Park in the Late Afternoon

Christie Pits is a ball park, with baseball, basketball, bocce, football, rugby and soccer fields, three small interlocking swimming pools, an ice rink, and a playground with a wading pool. It was the site of the worst race riot in Toronto's history in 1933. It's now nestled between Koreatown, Little Italy, Little Portugal, Little Ethiopia, and Seaton Village. It's one of the parks I take my dog to when I need to be alone to ponder on the meaning of. A block south is Bickford Park, an off-leash dog park with many frolicking canines for my Springer Spaniel to play with and hills or benches for me to ponder on the meaning of when I'm not chatting with other dog owners.

Yesterday's word sketch. I wished I'd had my camera with me, or more time to do a drawing. Today it's raining, natch.

I sat on a hill and wrote, in celebration of Spring, what I could see from my vantage point:


Green curve of hills, painted leaves across the sky, blowing, graceful. Soccer in the far field, the white ball rolling, figures in shorts running, kicking, the ball flying high. A row of young trees with pale green leaves beside the path of sand and pebbles that swings around the baseball diamond where a small group of men and women prepare for a game. Two black dogs chase balls their owners throw; the dogs aren't perfect retrievers and require pointing and verbal gesticulating. A group of young men, students perhaps, play an informal game of soccer on the grass nearby and I see the circular black patterns on the ball as it flies from foot to foot. Children are climbing and swinging and shouting in the playground in the distance as they do year after year. I sit in my baggiest comfortable jeans in a collapsible camping chair on a green heaving hill of birdsong watching my sociable dog romp between the other dog people and small groups lounging nearby before tearing up the hill and into the brush. The hill is already deep green with thick grass and a shawl of dandelions, yellow dancing soft pompoms, fluffy tufts, or empty waving stalks. There is an unending medley of voices, men's, women's, children's, the thud of the soccer ball, a baseball bat hitting the leather ball, the dim revving of small packs of traffic behind me, flowing according to traffic light patterns, a drone of distant planes in the sky and the whir of a traffic helicopter like a large dragon fly. It is Spring; the world has awakened and come out to play...