Monday Morning Musings

Posted on June 22, 2020 under Monday Morning Musings with 2 comments


Halifax Public Gardens



“There’s a reason that I love this town.”

I Love This Town – Joel Plaskett

After weeks (months) of writing about serious matters like Black Lives Matters and Coronavirus, I am taking a breather, literally and figuratively. Despite the easing of restrictions in Nova Scotia, a welcome relief, things are far from normal. Being able to get outside in the fine weather is probably the best medicine. Most of us are still spending an inordinate amount of time in our homes.

So when I got the chance for a road trip to Halifax to drop off a vehicle at the airport for a family member coming to the province, I jumped at the chance to get out of town and spend some time in one of my favourite cities, Halifax.

After a brief stop at the airport, my son and I drove into the city, crossing the MacDonald Bridge, a bridge I had run across numerous times taking part in the Bluenose Marathon runs. You wouldn’t notice this in a car, but the bridge has some serious elevation changes.

I was deposited at The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse on the corner of Prince and Granville. It was a very hot day, but I was fortunate to get a table in the shade on one of the outdoor patios. I spent a pleasant hour hanging out with my sister as we got caught up on the news. The beer was cold, there was a lovely warm breeze, and physical distancing was in evidence.

We took a stroll down to the waterfront. We entered the waterfront area near Stayners, a local watering hole and venue for live music, and sadly, a casualty of the pandemic. We headed north along the promenade and it was eerily quiet. If this were any other time, you would be fighting massive crowds. We retraced our steps and went back into the heart of the city doing a mini walking tour. There were small groups of people here and there, but the usual hustle and bustle of the city was missing. A case in point, my sister had no trouble finding a parking spot in the downtown core.

We said our goodbyes and I headed back down to the waterfront, this time walking in a southerly direction. Not surprisingly, this part of the waterfront was busier, a relative term. Most of the food stalls and restaurants were open but very few of the souvenir stands, small businesses, or the Visitor Information Centre. I wandered into the Map Store hoping to secure a large wall map for my classroom in northern Quebec. I was greeted warmly by two staff members who seemed overjoyed to see a customer. Not surprisingly, their business has suffered greatly only re-opening recently. With travel anywhere in the world quite restricted, maps are yet another casualty of the pandemic. Staycations are likely to be popular this summer.

I grabbed some tasty home cut fries and sat at a table, people-watching. The harbour was quite busy with several pleasure crafts and sailboats plying the waters. There were small clusters of people here and there and everyone seemed to be smiling – and why wouldn’t they! It was one of those truly glorious afternoons.

I wandered up Spring Garden Road heading towards the Public Gardens.I love this street. It has always had a vibe since I started coming to Halifax almost 60 years ago. There were a lot of pedestrians and vehicular traffic. If you didn’t know better, you might have thought that this was just another typical day in the city. It was a good feeling. Anything resembling normal these days is cherished.

After all of this walking (and the salty cut fries!) I was ready for another brew. Seeking an outdoor venue, I entered Stillwell Beer Gardens. The tables were safely spaced, with umbrellas to ward off the heat of the afternoon. I was wearing a wide brimmed hat and carrying a large wall map of the world. I admit that I must have looked even nerdier than usual. I opted for an IPA called Two Crows after which I took flight for the Public Gardens just a few paces away.

I love the Public Gardens. It is a serene and beautiful space in the heart of Halifax. I took a bench and sat, watching young people taking selfies, and old people pacing slowly,consuming nature’s beauty- the youth thinking about days to come and the elderly thinking about days past. I am often hit with bouts of nostalgia at times like this. I don’t want to be young again and I don’t want to grow old. This is a conundrum that many seniors deal with on a fairly regular basis. At least I do.

I walk through the gardens taking pictures, but photos really don’t do justice. You have to be present, taking in all the sensory stimulation, to truly appreciate these magnificent grounds.

There’s a reason I love this town.

Have a great week.

P.S. Some people believe that there is “no cure for stupid”. I disagree. The cure for stupid is being smart. Just over two weeks ago, our community held a peace rally for Black Lives Matter. Many people like me were leery about attending but decided that we had to attend. This unleashed vitriol on social media. According to reports, there hasn’t been a single case of Covid-19 arising from the event. The organizers took great care and caution as did the 4,000 who took part.


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2 Responses to Monday Morning Musings

  1. Hi Len. I loved your reflection on aging. I don’t want to grow old either,but there sure are days when I would like to be young again. As far as I can tell, one of the positives of aging is that you begin to appreciate everything so much more deeply. The realization that your time is running out makes each day more precious and that’s a good thing.

  2. Anne Isherwood says:

    Such an enjoyable read. I love Halifax too. Lots of memories from my days at Dal. Also I wonder about the social media vitriol. Was is really concerns about spreading Covid or was it coming from a much darker place?

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