Starry Night-Goodbye Jack

I stood at Riverdale hill just south of the Danforth and looked out over the wide expanse of parkland that skirts Toronto’s downtown and saw a clear night sky.  Downtown buildings were alight and awash with ‘orange’ for the honourable Jack Layton.  Developers had decked the many building cranes off in the distance and they stood in ‘orange’ silhouette against the night sky. 
 
At 7 p.m. tonight I went out onto the balcony which sits three stories above Broadview Avenue.  What prompted me was the quiet and then the tinkle – tinkle sounds repeating over and over.  Unusual for a street usually washed by siren   sounds.  Bicycles.  Hundreds of bicycles whooshed down the street.  Dr. Zeuss would have been proud.  There were children’s bikes, adults’, single – and two by two’s – there were one story and two story bicycles too.  One lone trumpeter blew a sad sound that lifted everything higher – a New Orleans thrill as hundreds more whooshed by.  A catch in my throat, one of many this week shared by many here this  week.  Broadview/Danforth, the former riding of the honourable Jack Layton.  Bicycles and Jack.  His Broadview riding office is deep with flowers and notes.  Notes that Olivia has asked to be kept.  A custodian is keeping watch.
 
“Rise up!’  the bicyclist at the end of this procession boomed out in his own unaided clear voice.  “The last Friday of every month – tell your friends and neighbours” … and so I am.  Expect more whooshing processions of bicycles and the people on them in clear voice. 
 
These simple modest things not reported in the press or the news casts.   I thought that you might like to know what I saw tonight and how this city is expressing the feelings felt by someone who lives here and calls it home.

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