The Big Commute; Room for Thanks

Jet is so crowded.
My space is far too small.
It’s too bad airplanes went from liners to crowded cattle pens.
Attendant smiles down at me.
“Back for another few weeks?”
We chat awhile both realizing we’ve become fast friends.

Climb, and circle Bell Island.
Make for the Mainland
Headphones block the engines but not the whispers from those I left behind.
Plane change at Pearson.
Stretch and a status update.
Then back on board, for the last leg, try to get in the working frame of mind.

Seems so long ago
growing up by the water.
The ocean and forest sustained us; the way ahead seemed so clear.
But change is all around us;
a shrinking world, no escape.
Can’t make a living that way now so I follow jobs they have here.

But still it seems to me
maybe we’re not that different.
Those fishers and woods folk would feel at home in camps where we are now.
We all do what we have to,
enjoy the time we get at home,
and always keep one eye on the future, enjoying what circumstances allow.

And as for what’s ahead
not for me to say.
I’ll play the hand I’ve been given; make the best of it I can.
Perhaps sometime soon
I won’t have to do this.
But for now, just keeping it all together is as much as I can plan.

So over the prairies
to the foot of the mountains,
catch the bus from Fort Mac; ‘phones drowning out voices in my ear.
Music from way back home,
some help from FaceTime.
I close my eyes, holding on to memories of the ones that are so dear.

It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. Once again, looking around I realize just how much there is to be thankful for: a good job, a safe place to live, a roof over my head, friends and, best of all, a family that I love so very much. This year, though, I’m especially grateful to a couple of friends whose generosity has made this time just a bit more special. Consider this little song a way of saying “thank-you.”


About Maurice A. Barry

Coordinator: Teaching and Learning Commons, Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Parent & Husband. eLearning consultant/coordinator. Program Development Specialist - eLearning (Department of Education; Retired). Writer: over 40 Math/Physics texts/webs. Developer & Manager of web content. Geek. Not into awards but loves comments.
This entry was posted in poetry/songs, Society and Culture and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Big Commute; Room for Thanks

  1. Very nice. Makes me think about changes which may be on my horizon. Just yesterday I clicked ‘submit’ on an application for a (non-academic) job in New Hampshire. I paused, just before I clicked, and thought ‘What the heck am I doing.’ You know, the sort of thing that folks must think just before they jump off that bungee platform. Who knows what will come of it … perhaps nothing. But, it was a good first step. Perhaps it’ll be easier next time. I didn’t realize that you were traveling from home to fulfill this current job obligation? That’s tough. How much longer? D

    • Not me but I have friends who do. I’m lucky that work is pretty close. I am intrigued by the potential change that may be coming your way. Looking forward to possibly hearing more when the time is right. NH is one of the places I’d consider moving to if I won the lottery and needed to get away ☺

  2. Mary says:

    Enjoyed the poem – a great gift of thanks, for sure.Happy Thanksgiving to all – We will have a shared meal ( we’re bringing dessert) with friends of A. – so I’m feeling really thankful for that – also C , safely back from the North. Again all the best to you all

  3. Tiny says:

    Lovely poem! I’ve lived that kind of weekly commuter life for over 4 years. Not too fun, but what has to be done… I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with family!

  4. elkement says:

    We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here (not as a public holiday – there are some “church-related rituals” though) but I can relate!

    Thanks – again! – for a reminder to pause and re-consider what really matters! It seems to be a topic common to many of your posts (or probably their hidden agenda ;-)), and it makes reading your blog such an uplifting experience!

    • Thank you. Speaking of uplifting I must say I am enjoying Carr’s previous book, “the Shallows.” Though it may be a little dated (if 3 years counts as that) it is still quite relevant.

  5. Marie says:

    The span of our gratitude determines a perspective of thanksgiving. A thoughtful reminder that we are only as rich as our thanks.

  6. Very nice — I’ve been getting a little too curmudgeonly about changes recently, and I’m WAY too young to be pouting around like an old lady who misses the last century. I thank you for the reminder to just be grateful for the many wonderful gifts of my life.

  7. Maurice I hope you had a great thanks giving. I love your list of things to be thankful for.

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