Recently, I had to travel to Barrie for work. It is not that far, and throughout my career, I have had to go to Barrie many times, but typically, I arrive, attend the Courthouse or Court Reporting Office and leave. However, my last visit was different.
There is something different about being in a small town. Barrie is quite large, but its downtown core is quite small and quaint. Obviously – less hustle and bustle, but also, an easiness exists, which is refreshing. This easiness permeates your being and you find that you are less on edge and more willing to go with the flow. At least, this is what I have found.
I attended on a beautiful summer’s day. Seriously – blue skies, no clouds and a warmth to the air. I was attending at an examination for discovery and my client attended, even though he was on vacation and made no complaints. As I was driving, it was the first time in the 19 years that I have been attending, that I realized how close I was to the Lake, and the walk way around the park – how could I have never noticed this before?
Back to the examination for discovery, or deposition for those of you who watch a lot of American television. Typically, you have a Court Reporter transcribe the proceeding and our Court Reporter was quite remarkable – she was 80 years old. However, her hearing was going, which is not a trait one wants in a Court Reporter, but because we were in a small town, no one said anything and every time she asked us to speak up or move closer to her, we just complied. If she would have said, Speak up sonny, I would not have been able to supress the laughter!
After the discoveries, she and I started chatting and she told me that she was going to become a great grandmother on this day. Her granddaughter was expecting a little boy and she was hoping that they stuck to a more traditional boy’s name, rather than something too different. She told me about her experience giving birth to her daughter 60 year’s ago at Toronto Western Hospital, the same hospital where I was born. She said in those days, the men were not encouraged to attend at the hospital and that only the woman’s mom was in attendance. However, the mom was not allowed in the delivery room and the woman was by herself. Quite a contrast to when I had my kids, thankfully! She then fast forwarded and said that since she had turned 80, she was expected to take a driver’s test and was worried about what that entailed. She then volunteered that if she failed, then she would retire. No remorse, no drama – just matter of fact. Small town values.
And as we finished, instead of rushing back to the office, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and I parked by the lake, and I walked around. It was beautiful and I was entertained by geese on a march and kids cooling off in the splash pad.
I then walked down their main street and popped into some stores. It was so pleasant just to meander and browse and enjoy.
And that’s the thing – in all of the years that I have attended, why had I never taken the moment to enjoy, as I did on that day? I was still able to get my report out and get work done that day, but I was also able to take a moment and just enjoy. As I am getting older and with the expectations and busy, hectic schedule I have, I find that I get a lot of pleasure just disconnecting and going for a walk outside and discovering new places – it really makes me happy. And so, I walked around Barrie, marveled at their monument to the fallen soldiers, people watched, window shopped and just enjoyed the moment.
I am looking forward to the next time I am able to do this and wonder what small town I will be in next.
Perhaps, I am a Small town girl, deep inside after all.
But that’s just one diva’s view.