It’s January in Toronto, a glacial wind in your face, a cloudy, gritty, dirty-snow winter day. Somewhere in the middle of the never-ending curtain of noise that always plays in a city, one sound in particular sits up in my hearing, calling for attention. It’s a motor gurgling. Eventually I notice. Where have I heard that before?
And then, without any more thinking, I hear what, in downtown Toronto in January, that sound most certainly CANNOT be. I hear a boat’s outboard as you pull up to the dock, the propeller free-wheeling in neutral just before it turns off.
Standing in my parka, hearing that sound, I’m instantly transported. Somehow I’m back to a warm summer evening decades ago. I feel the light gold-gilded across Lac Pelletier and the twilight heavy with insects. I’m sitting on a boat rocking gently in the water, ready to take out the last skiiers of the day. Our voices are quiet, the lake unnaturally calm, as if it’s waiting. My shirt off, as it has been all day. Mind empty of anything but the moment, my only teen-age responsibility making sure there’s gas for the motor. Never knowing such a clarity of existence would be what would pull the older me back, so many decades later, on a cold and snowy afternoon, for an envious peek.
So far from North York Mills. Our memories are time machines. But they’re touchy ones, triggered by who knows what and when, here and gone again, taking us where they want us to go.
8 replies on “Lac Pelletier memories”
Wonderful memory! I have had similar summer experiences. Smells, music or songs can bring back memories as well.
Yes Gary. Agreed, and thanks! Proust wrote a whole 1200 page book about it…. But it’s the smells, sounds and music that seem to transport us.
Love those sensory memory links!
yes Alice….like spatzle!
Spatzle! You just made my memory bop from Vienna to a Hungarian resto on Bloor (closed for many years now) to my own messy attempts to make them.
This is such a lovely piece of writing, Matthew! I love how you describe the lake as “waiting.” So true, visceral. Have you published a collection of your work? Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2015 20:48:11 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks Wanda. No…..but someday, I hope!
Love this, and in particular your articulation of that feeling of dis-location, when the mind is brought back to the place where the feet are found.