Monday, October 3, 2011

Day Twenty-Three: Last Days

I'm walking home in the dark, twelve hours after I left home in the dark. I had an exam to make this morning, so I left extra early. And after school I had table tennis club followed by yoga in the old train station. There are only a few street lights as I cut across the tracks. The breeze is almost warm, or maybe I'm still warm from the "oo-jai" breathing.

The half moon seems small and alone in the dark sky. I walk on a long stretch of newer asphalt with no houses which eventually bends by the homes I usually walk past. I try to take a picture of the hospital, lit up, but the camera just captures a few lights. The governance centre teepee glows orange half way up the triangular shape. I snap from a distance, but it's fuzzy and dull. The closer I get the more success I have with the camera.

Today at school, one of my students asked if I planned to walk during the winter. I raised my eyebrows. "That's the plan," I said.

He smiled. "I walk to school everyday. All through the winter."

"So, do you have some tips for me."

"Wear boots... and when there's lots of snow, stick to the roads. No short cuts. And watch out for the ice."

I'm past the teepee and now walking by the ski hill. The top of the lift seems so far , so high, so dangerous. I've been up there, I think. I near the trees on the left, a new tree, where I left my blue mug this morning. I step into the brush around the tree, praying there's no porcupine at my feet.

I'm very aware, as I walk warm in the moonlight, that these are my last days. Last days of short cuts and clean roads, light jackets and bare hands. I wonder if back in the early days, if the people knew that there were difficult days ahead. I wonder if when the newcomers started coming, if it was like the cool winds of fall, promises of snow, frozen country, and storms.

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