I round the corner and see the line of cars. Too late to back up or turn around and take another route. I’ll just have to sit and wait for the Michigan Street Bridge to go back down.
Unlike some in-a-hurry people, I don’t mind waiting for the bridge. Turn off the motor, turn on one of George’s CDs, sit back and relax. Seize the moment and enjoy it.
I watch the world outside car windows that are gently misted by wannabe rain. Wind bends the branches of golden-leafed trees and scatters runaway leaves down the street where they huddle together in corners and doorways. Even through the music I hear the scritch-scratch of their helter-skelter flight.
The top of a tall-masted sailboat juts above the bridge approach on the left, bobbing, back and forth, back and forth, enjoying a tethered ride on the ridges of a wind-agitated bay. No sails, no pennant, just the bare bones of summer cruises now over. The metal parts of the rigging clang, clang against the mast, a death knell to warm-weather play-days, a harbinger of winter’s surcease of frantic activity. Soon, the county will belong once again to those of us who live here.
Waitresses, housekeepers, restaurant owners, tour guides, tour boats, musicians and more, all owe part of our living to the visitors. All are glad when “the season” begins, work picks up, money flows a bit more freely, coffers are filled for the lean months. And then, at some point, the extra traffic, the petulant demands, the crowded restaurants where locals can’t find seats, begin to wear thin. When autumn colors fade, when “the season” ends, when the tourists go home, we’re glad again.
Soon it will be visits with friends, music with musicians who are free to play for each other, time to work on photos and new songs, evenings before the fire. Soon.
So, I wait for the bridge. I watch autumn pass before my eyes. George’s music sets the scene for winter months to come. I sigh, smile and anticipate.