Trust – that should be a four-letter word and that can go either way – good or bad. With me it is rocky. I admit I have trust issues and with good reason stemming from my only child childhood. However, walking through fog late last Friday night may have taught me something about trust.
It was a dark and foggy night last Friday. I had spent the evening until after 11 p.m. in a pub at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. My son and his country/bluegrass band, The Sure Things, were playing there, so after wandering through the fair during the afternoon, I stopped by the pub for dinner and to catch the show. So it was sunny when I arrived at the fair. When I left it was a different matter.
The matter was dense fog and trying to get through it to a streetcar stop on the grounds which turned into an exercise in trust. Everyone was helpful from my son’s girlfriend and another of her friends walking me partway towards an exit, to the security guard who gave me directions and showed me the way out of the building.
When I exited the building I found myself encased in a white misty blur with a few yellow lights popping up here and there. And it wasn’t my bad eyesight. So, I got turned around. If I could have seen the building I would have known to turn left to walk to the streetcar stop where I had come in. That way I could just follow the buildings but I could barely make out the buildings. So I struggled along towards the other streetcar stop where the security guard told me to go.
It was like walking blind. Parked cars and cabs kept materializing but I couldn’t afford a cab. I asked the few people I did see where the streetcar stop was. All were helpful. What they and I didn’t know was that the gate to its entrance was closed, locked. I did find it but ended up walking along the sidewalk outside the fenced-in area where you boarded the streetcar. I finally gave up on this walk and returned to a parking lot where an attendant was directing traffic.
I asked him the way to the streetcar stop and got the same answer as from everybody else.
“The gate is closed,” I replied. “How do I get to Strachen Avenue for the other stop?”
“Just take this road right here and it will take you right to Strachan.”
“This road” seemed to be part of the parking lot, but I kept walking on it, facing the traffic – very little, including a police car. If my wits hadn’t been all fogged up from the weather, I would have flagged the police down and asked, “Am I on the right track?”
The buildings on my right appeared like generic blobs, but I could see the walkway and the fence on the left where I had been before. At one point I just followed the streetcar tracks, not difficult when they came close to the road and I could actually see them.
Yes, I got out and fortunately saw two streetcars going the other way so knew they had to come back soon from the nearby loop. Then I looked at a sign posted on the streetcar stop – something about certain streetcar lines detoured between what looked like 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. but it could have been a.m. I had trouble reading it – not because of the fog or even the print size. The notice was just hanging too high for someone barely scraping five feet in height to see.
The wait for the streetcar was longer than expected and the streetcar that arrived wasn’t the one I thought had been at the front of the two heading for the loop. Maybe the front runner had done a detour (although where?) No matter. The streetcar that showed up was the one I wanted and when I got on and sat down I breathed a sigh of relief.
So what got me through this? Yes, perseverance, but more so trust in myself. Trust, that despite feeling frightened, stranded and alone I could get out. I had the wits to do it myself. I knew enough to ask for help as I tried to get out, but I also discovered I had to trust that I could get myself out.
And I think that’s what I learned. As an only child now alone in the world (so to speak), the bottom line is to trust yourself. Who else can you really trust not to let you down at some point?
What do others think?
Only child writes