Joe and I were on our way home and had decided to go a slightly longer way so that we could walk a lovely path through some old University of Toronto buildings. We were very at ease with each other and as we went south on Avenue Road. There were few people out walking and we had much of the sidewalk to ourselves. It's at moments like these that I can look up and around rather than down at people's legs and packages. It's nice.
Just as we turned to go onto the University grounds I noticed that a huge tour was going through. From where I sat I could see three large groups of people each surrounding a young guide, talking and pointing at various statues. Joe, knowing what was going on in my mind said, "Should we just head down the road rather than going in on the grounds." I paused and said, "Yes, sorry, I don't think I can face all those people with cameras." I so easily become the exhibit and there's times I do whatever I can to avoid it.
I was backing up when it hit me.
A small quiet voice?
I don't know. But whatever it was the words came to my mind, "This is my space too, I have a right to it, I can't keep ceding what's rightfully mine."
I stopped, looked at Joe and said, "We're going the way we planned." Joe said, "Why don't you rush ahead so you can get by the first two groups and I'll meet you at the bottom of the hill." It was a tempting offer.
I said, "No."
We went together, needing to ask both groups to move a bit to make space on the pathway, we sailed past them, chatting. Finally we were on the path by ourselves. "Good choice," Joe said, as we were both enjoying the trees, the lawns and the old buildings.
Sometimes they are really small while feeling really big.