While the neighbourhood lays soundly sleeping I set off on one final run. Through hills and tree-lined cul-de-sacs. Amid old houses and new developments. Memories springing forth to say hello. To say goodbye.
The hill training I would do along mucked-up country side roads. The German Shepherd that patrolled the old car shop, eager to bark its unyielding dominance early each morning. And my first night here…a story-book Christmas Eve with downy snow and twinkly stars. When I looked into D’s eyes and realized for the first time, I was falling in love.
But now D is moving. And this would be my last of countless training runs in this neck of the woods. One chapter closes just as Once Upon A Time is scrolled neatly upon another set of nearby pages.
From Markham in the Greater Toronto Area’s east end, westward to Mississauga, we drive in a rented uHaul. Me, D, and a surprisingly inordinate number of boxes.
Streets run on a diagonal here. Heading west on Burnhamthorpe is actually to traverse southwest. A smirky wink from God. Combine this minor direction challenge with being haplessly directionally-impaired and I can foresee many a long run in this new-to-me neighbourhood becoming many a longer run.
Neither D nor I know the area well. But the neighbourhood seems quiet. Trees and rivers run plentiful. And with Mother Nature somewhat reluctantly warming to the thought of spring, being lost here on a long run may not be the worst thing imaginable.
Yet as I scan the distant horizon where the downtown skyline rises, I think better of tempting fate. The shapely monoliths of the Marilyn Monroe condos stretch skyward. Just as their namesake had while performing Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend over sixty years ago.
I smile at yet another memory just as new memories for the two of us begin to take shape. I reach for D’s hand and it give it a gentle squeeze. With our new landmark found, it’s time for us to head home.