It all started when Montréal and I decided to play a game together.
How many sounds could I hear while walking down a quiet corner of this city? This game was more than just to test my hearing, but it was to prove that travel is more than just beautiful images, and checking things off of a list. Would I lose to Montréal’s intricate sounds? Or would I finally win peace of mind by allowing myself to soak in the calm of the moment?
Let the Games Begin
As I walk alone in the rose-lit streets of Mile End, I gaze up into the pink and orange clouds; there’s more than meets the eye.
The colorful fog is just about to swallow the tops of the French inspired architecture. Green foliage is so thick here that the only thing strong enough to cut through it is the sun.
And from the street, I hear silverware being shuffled around from kitchens to be placed on wooden table-tops. Families are about to share meals, and tell stories of their days in both French and English.
I look forward and hear the ticking of bicycle wheels speed by, signs of life beyond the pollution of a humming vehicle.
I look to my left, the jingle of a dog tag catches my attention. Its owner whistles, calling the puppy closer towards the crackling trees in a random plot of green away from traffic.
I look to my right and tune into the static noise that’s slowly spews out of the street light. Brilliance is about to expose the night version of this playful city.
I look down, and grin at the sound of the rubber from my shoes slapping the concrete; thank god for these legs that allow me to see the world.
Peace of Mind is Sometimes Shy
All of this tranquility was quietly tucked away, just steps before one of the city’s most bustling areas; the calm before the storm that anyone can appreciate.
These unfiltered moments alone are sweeter than the last licks off a fork offering chocolate cake.
I owe it to any city to observe more than its suburban streets, and gaze in awe at its over-discovered gems.
And the winner is:
My mind stood still in a state of immediate calm. What made me fall in love with this city so much? Maybe because it’s an in-betweener like me; Europe’s cousin born in North America. There’s no way not to love a perfect blend of culture and language in a beautiful city like Montréal. And I’ll forever owe it a thank you for giving me one of these unforgettable travel moments.