I had to get out of the house. All of our Christmas cards have been sent, all of our packages have been wrapped, and now all that I can do is to wait. There is something about the City Pier at Canandaigua which draws one to this spot when one tries to get lost for a few hours. Maybe it’s the birds which come here to rest; maybe it’s the water of Canandaigua Lake which is always fresh and flowing; maybe it’s the place where you store your boat or do a little fishing in the summer. Maybe it is the place to come to meet your friends or your lover.
It certainly is a place to just take a few moments and remember. To remember what it must have been like when the Indians lived here; to remember what it was like when the steamships on Canandaigua Lake came into the dock to deposit their freight and their passengers; maybe it is the place where you come to remember Roseland Park when it was in its prime and young people came from all over to meet their friends, enjoy Canandaigua Lake, and to forget about life’s cares.
But on this Christmas Eve, City Pier was mostly deserted. All of the usual activities seemed to have been suspended for the afternoon. The whole Pier seemed to just be waiting on something. The boathouses were empty. I did spot a Christmas tree upstairs in one of the houses. The wind was stiff but unusually warm at 54 degrees for this time of the year. As I walked to the end of the pier I discovered a whole flock of black ducks or American coots, just bobbing up and down in the water. They were just waiting. The wind was too stiff for flying. The gulls were standing on their favorite rock, just watching and waiting. Even the Canadian geese that were here by the thousands just a few days ago are gone.
The Canandaigua Lady was parked at her spot along City Pier. There’s nothing for her to do until spring when the tourists return to Canandaigua. Hopefully, the new conference center being built on the site of the old Steam Boat Landing will be finished next summer and the Canandaigua Lady will be filled with happy laughing passengers once more.
But on this Christmas Eve everything is quiet. It’s as if the whole Pier was waiting. Just waiting.