Sunday, July 6, 2003

We had a very nice weekend trip up to London, Ontario. Why London, you ask? Well, because it looked to be out of the range of the rain (it was, except for Friday evening), we'd never spent much time there before, and Michael saw that they were having a big festival within walking distance of the hotel we'd stay at - and sponsored in part by Labatt's. Sounded like a plan.

SunFest was the name of the festival, and it was, as advertised, a wonderfully diverse event, and I say this even though "diverse" has become such a tired word. But it was. And it was quite enjoyable.

We listened to this woman play the thumb piano. Katie was pretty fascinated with this group of Cuban women, I liked this group, so of course their performance coincided with Joseph's worst performance of the festival, because those are the rules. He was far better behaved for this group, and I think you can probably understand why. His eyes were like saucers twice this past weekend: once while he watched the painted Aborigine men sing and dance, and then the next day, when we drove by Comerica Park in Detroit and he beheld many giant tigers. He didn't mind the Irish bands, either, and I was only sorry that the klezmer band would be performing on Sunday after we left, because I really like klezmer music a whole lot, and have never heard it performed live.

Got my fill of things I love but hardly ever get, like pad thai, Vietnamese fresh rolls and falafel, Katie took great delight in eating blue snow cones that even tinted her teeth. Michael enjoyed the Labatt's, although we were both surprised that in a country in which you can legally buy marijuana and marry someone of the same gender, the beer drinking was confined, in a rather authoritarian manner, to a single fenced in "beer garden" in front of only one of the four stages, and strictly enforced. But that's usually the way those things go. Libertarians and libertines are hardly ever consistent, but then, who is?

Of great interest to all was a drumming circle that went on constantly, offered by a company called Primordial Percussion and under a tent sponsored by Culligan. I'm sure someone can write a joke about that. About 20 chairs with as many or more drums, a few other percussion instruments, and a constant stream of people entering and leaving, just drumming, drumming, drumming.

It was a fun time. Little girl sitting between the First Nations fellow and the aging hippie lady, drumming. Asians twirling to an Irish jig, women in modified Muslim dress eating funnel cakes, the FootWayne baby staring at the painted men from the outback blasting on the didjeridu.

The world is such a rich, gorgeous place, and so often, we forget that, as wrapped up as we are in our intramural debating contests, forgetting that God lives and breathes and moves in the heart of every person, in every spot on the globe.

Random stuff:On the way over, we stopped briefly at a park in Sarnia, on the shores of Lake Huron, so Katie could see her fourth Great Lake. I'm always amazed to see people swimming in these frigid waters. Oh, I know what it's like. I grew up going to Maine in the summers, and never knew anything but frigid waters until I went to Florida in my early 30's. I was shocked that ocean water could actually be...not icy. So yes, I went into that mess as a child, but now I wonder why people are so crazy.

I've been to Canada several times, but for some reason, this time, I really noticed the taxes...15% on everything, right? And there's income taxes, right? Gosh. Great health care, I guess....but at a price.

Friday night, Michael and I briefly and insanely discussed the possibility of going to Toronto on Saturday. Why? I don't know. So I mentioned it to Katie before she went to sleep, that it might be a possibility, just so she'd be prepared. Well, of course we changed our minds, and decided to just start the day off with a double-decker bus tour of London. So, I get Katie up, she eats, she dresses, we walk down to City Hall to catch the double decker bus, we sit on top, Joseph is frozen in shock (okay, make that three moments of astonishment), we start the tour, the bus trolls around downtown for a while, and Katie turns to me and says, "This isn't the way to Toronto, is it?"

Uh, no.


Michael has more, from the spiritual end.