Friday, April 20, 2012

Daydreams of Hockey in Small-town Ontario

As the famed, and overused, Robert Frost poem goes:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Outside the pub window, the cold Canadian winter blows through the slushy streets on a small town Ontario night. Small groups of locals, huddling closely to the warmth of their overcoats, march down the streets on their way home from the rinky-dink stadium that resembles a steel mill moreso than a hockey arena. In the distance, a large smokestack puffs gray clouds into the vast Canadian sky. Inside the pub window, comforted by the warmth of the pub heating, I glance over my notes from that night's game while the waitress sets a mug of Labatt onto the cedar tabletop. I begin to jot down a story on my yellow legal pad, as the midnight deadline for the local newspaper rapidly approaches. The loneliness of the bar, empty save for two isolated old men watching the Maple Leafs game on the bar television sets, starts to fade as my story takes shape.

Sometimes when I'm stuck inside the law library, surrounded by thousands of old legal books, as I am now, my mind begins to wander to that small town Ontario town where I might be trying to cut a name for myself as a beat writer for the local OHL club. I think about the forks in the roads I have faced in my lifetime, the path I respectively chose, and where that path has led me. Not to say that I'm unhappy with the career path I've chosen, (I actually am content with it for the first time in a long time) but sometimes I find myself deep into reading a lengthy hockey article - my mind lost in the magic of that unique sport and reminiscent for times up at the schoolhouse in Canada - and wonder how amazing that other career might be.

As Frost said: "Two roads diverged in a wood". Sometimes I feel like we get so far down one of those roads that it's not possible to turn back. Then again, sometimes I feel like I'm still young, and maybe the road I'm going down is just a precursor to another, much bigger, fork in the road.

Carpe Diem.

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