Together on a Bus

I didn’t play on teams that did much travelling until I was in high school.  However, I remember those days well and it never fails to bring a smile, if not to my face, then at least within my mind, remembering the good times spent travelling with not just friends, but hockey-playing friends.

Peterborough to Ottawa for some beyond-the-city championship tourney (COSSA?), short trips to and from Fenelon Falls or Lindsay for the rare Saturday night game, Toronto for the Father David Bauer November tournament and the mother of all long nights, North Bay to Peterborough post-game on a cold late-winter night after a sad ending at OFSSA.

The music was Pink Floyd and Kim Mitchell and Geddy and his mates and all kinds of good stuff in between.  There were card games and naps, chirping each other, chirping the coaches, chirping about girls and on en route to the game, thoughts of big moments to come.  On the return trip, thoughts of plays made that felt good or, on the down side, mistakes made that left doubt, angst and frustration.

Sometimes old yellow school buses, sometimes fancier coaches, but the ride was the thing.  The bus ride to play hockey and the bus ride home.  Those were better than the good old days.

Ah, the boys from Humboldt and their bus ride.  God, I feel for every single one of them.  The driver of the truck.  The families, the neighbours, the kid’s teachers, the team they never got to play.  The ones who lived.

Like many who had a lump in their throat when they heard the news, and who had a hockey stick or two out in the garage, I put a stick at the front door.   It seems like such a silly thing to do in some ways.  It won’t make a difference.  It won’t really lessen the pain to their loved ones.

In the same week that innocent people were gassed by their own country’s leader, I am reminded of how much suffering there is in the world that seemingly rolls off us, as if it’s not really affecting other human beings like us.

For me, hockey has always helped give a little bit of meaning to life when the world gets a bit out of whack.  Or, I’d like to think it provides a little bit of healing balm to those in pain when the circumstances of their world are a little overwhelming.

This was a tough one.  The stick at the front door may not mean much, but showing you care in any way you can is better than having it roll off you.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Friendships, memories, Road Trips, teams

2 responses to “Together on a Bus

  1. Hi Rich,
    a great post. you should write more. right here. lots of memories still left, recently made no doubt, with all your soughting-after of god-awful man-cave trophies.
    I thought of you when i heard. Hockey is such a love in Canada. We are such a bunch of goofs when it comes to hockey. I liked your observation of the team they never got to play. Can you imagine their bewilderment and pain? There is such an element of chance in life. This accident, and so many more examples of the randomness of life and death everyday should get to us more, right? Make us appreciate our kids and brothers and sisters and husbands and wives and friends still with us? I wonder at myself daily at my capacity to fuss about crap that doesn’t matter. If you can’t take anything else out of this nightmare, it would be good to grasp the idea that life is random, so try to enjoy it.

    • ok, so my reply here is a little dated. However, thanks for your comments sis. I am indeed getting the bug again and am planning a fresh flood of rinktales stories, (excuse the hockey metaphor), starting today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s