On the Beat

Edwards Gardens gives solace in the city

I need an escape.

But I had to traverse the pitted minefield of Edwards Gardens’ parking lot to get to my winter wonderland.

Through a slippery, slushy soup, I sloshed all the while Tragically Hip’s “Locked in the Trunk of a Car” played.

With that tune in my ears, I noticed a man idling his car. He had his seat tilted back and his mouth agape catching flies.

Further along a sign suggested I “Have a nice day”, but how can I as I attempt to avoid a death by drowning in potholes?

Leaving the asphalt behind me, the only visible sign of life was a surveyor who was triangulating something on his theodolite.

Never mind him though. The great whiteness of snow shrouded the naked deciduous trees.

Nature. I love escaping into its solitude. Not a soul around and all that can be heard is the peeping of a female cardinal.

I appreciate being far away from the bustle of the city and its people.

Venturing across a long wooden bridge Geddy Lee sings, “You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill. I will choose a path that’s clear: I will choose freewill”.

On the other side, I noticed a Charlie Brown pine decorated with leftover Christmas ornaments.

I snap a few shots of yarn snowmen and a red-capped penguin.

Beside the tree a bench has a marker on it memorializing someone’s lost family member Eleanor Heather.

The benchmarks are common along the path as every temporary rest stop features somebody’s name.

As I make my way towards Wilket Creek, Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina tell me my, “Mama don’t dance and my daddy don’t rock and roll”.

Au contraire my rock-pop duo: If it weren’t for my folks listening to everything from the Beach Boys to ZZ Top, I wouldn’t have the variety of rhythms to draw from for my MP3 player.

My thoughts of my exposure to music disappear as I cross another bridge and climb a steep hill to a garden area. On my way I pass a gent carrying a tripod and a camera.

Atop the hill I turn right and a veranda with vines and butterflies stands tall. A metal stegosaurus set of bones and an Inukshuk are focal points for buried flora.

Small placards note Dinosaur Garden and Rocky Mountain Garden.

I shuffle along through the small garden. There are names etched into the bricks along with dinosaur tracks on the uncovered path.

A giant monarch butterfly sculpture sits in a little pocket off from the path surrounded by trees. Beyond the pines and birches the setting sun lights the scenery afire, combusting like the “Kerosene” Miranda Lambert vents about.

A water tower yonder is covered in the orange glow, making it look like the UFO from Disney’s Flight of the Navigator.

Noticing there is no way back to the vale I return from whence I came, wandering down the hill towards a small pond.

An isthmus of a bridge bisects the pond. Below a waterwheel is frozen, thickened with ice.

To my left the pond is frozen over with a concave curve. The city has gated off the other paths, so I am trapped here on a deck overlooking the entire garden.

I notice a garbage can close by with birdseed strewn on its cover.

“The Hand That Feeds” by Nine Inch Nails plays on my MP3, and I smile to myself.

Clouds overhead and a loss of light tell me I should be on my way, so I take Kansas’ cue and “Carry On, Wayward Son” back through the parking lot, unfortunately heading back into the urban din called Toronto.

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