Banana Guy

I walk every day, weather permitting, and I love it. It’s my therapy. I clear my brain, relieve my stress, pound out my frustration, and reach (some times desperately) for peace. Whatever the purpose when I set out, I always feel better when I get home.

Now one thing I’ve noticed over the last 21 years of walking through my neighbourhood, is the banana peel. Every day I walk the same route (ok, I’m a creature of habit) and invariably I see a banana peel. Sometimes fresh, sometimes not, more often than not several peels in various stages of decomposition, spaced apart (???) but there it is, every day. And I’ve come to surmise that it’s the same individual who walks this route each day to work, a car pool, the bus stop, something, eating a banana….and tossing the peel.

Today was the first time I came upon a relatively fresh one…….so he/she was only recently ahead of me. I envision a labourer of some kind, heading to the bus stop, lunchbox and thermos in one hand, banana (breakfast?) in the other. Whoever it is, they’re up early, and have a reasonably good diet (they’re eating a banana instead of a Tim’s donut) but I wonder about their life, their thoughts, as they walk along in the early morning hours munching on a banana.

Are they evaluating their purpose in this world? Are they lamenting their lot in life?  Are they pondering lifes’ mysteries?  Or are they simply wandering along thinking about the work day ahead? And of all the fruits, why a banana? Why not an orange? (maybe they have a potassium deficiency) Course a banana is easy to peel, hence my conclusion that this is a male (whatever is easy…..)

It’s become something of a project to me to find this ‘banana guy’. I just need to see who he is, what he looks like, how he conducts himself as he strides along, munching on his daily banana. And if I find him, I’d like to ask, why a banana? Where’s he going? What’s he thinking as he walks along?

Most importantly, I’d like to ask him why he can’t just hold on the damn banana peel until he gets to a garbage can? 

Empty Spaces

Maybe I’m just sentimental. Or maybe I’m getting old. It seems like I see more gaps in life, empty spaces, that I don’t recall seeing before. Could it be I just wasn’t looking?

My father passed this year and it’s a void I feel keenly every day. But aside from that, I see these vacant spaces  in my days; not people, rather a feeling of emptiness that wasn’t there before. Or was it? It’s not necessarily a sad thing. I just feel like I’m missing….. something.

Now I can’t say I’m hard done by. Life has been kind to me. I have an abundance of friends (ok, not an ‘abundance’ really but I don’t like a lot of people so I’m good with rationing the friends list) I have a lovely and loving family – and I like them, so life is good. (ok, I’d like a little more material wealth but who wouldn’t?) I guess what I struggle with is why do I feel like I’m missing something? And no, it’s not the material things I miss. It’s deeper.

Spring is now here and I wake to the sounds of birds chirping; calling at daybreak, and the fact that they wake me from a good sleep doesn’t bother me. In fact, it makes me smile.  I go for a walk and revel in the sounds of silence,,,,,,until the traffic picks up and breaks the trance. I get lost in a beautiful song on the radio….or in my head. I’m seeing and feeling things that were always there but never before had such an impact.

Ok, I get it now. I think what I’m missing is the ‘peace’. The tranquility, the solitude, the escape from a busy, noisy, angry world, is a relief; a gift really. One so rare to find and even more rare to be appreciated.  That’s what I’m missing. How do we recapture this ‘peace’?

The world is not a pretty place right now. Jobs are scarce, food and fuel costs are through the roof, violence is on the rise, people are stressed, world leaders are idiots, and society is scared. What isn’t wrong?

Well, actually, the birds are singing, the sun is shining, music is still there to soothe a tired heart, and most importantly, we all have people in our lives that matter to us…people to whom we matter. (Man, I am getting soft) Or maybe I’m just seeing things clearly for the first time in a long time, maybe forever.

The birds chirping are a reminder that there is always new life. The stormy days invariably lead to sunnier times. And there’s nothing a good song can’t fix! The idiots running our nations,,,,well, that is a sorry state, sadly one that can’t be changed. (Maybe that’s why someone invented liquor….or weapons)  And those we took for granted for a life time are now just beautiful memories in our hearts and empty places at our table.

Life today is so very challenging. We have to keep reminding ourselves that there is a light at the end of the tunnel – don’t lose hope.  From something bad can come something very good – find it. You get what you give, and if that’s not a slap in the face to all of us we are brain dead. Life is a cycle we need to work through. It isn’t easy but it is so worth it. Now go, find that peace we all need.