Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wet Pond Walk

the long sidewalk to the Wet Pond
The second thing that has changed in our neighbourhood is that I found a charming new walk to the Wet Pond on the brow of the hill overlooking the Bow Valley.

If I go past the church toward the Children’s Hospital, there on University Avenue are the places I have passed often: the church first, then the copse of trembling aspens which used to hold a small fire pit for the kids in residence.

I have a pleasant memory -- taking my own kids there for a Hot Dog Roast one evening.

The Copse of Trembling Aspen
More work than it was worth, I think now, but still, a pleasant memory.

I notice that the some of the trees have been cut now -- the thicket thinned out, and I suspect that this charming little spot will soon be gone.

There was a woman who used to take noon hour tours to little gems on the university grounds and this was one she always stopped at.

Norquay Hall -- on the way to the Wet Pond
She would have people rub the south side of the trees, note the thin white film that was then on their hands, and tell them that this was the original sunscreen, developed by nature for the south bark of those trees.

A deer-crossing sign comes next and then a pedestrian cross walk.

Deer-crossing signs don't seem to be that extra-ordinary in this area of the city.  Afterall, it is well known that coyotes play in the fields a little further north.

I stop to check.  But no deer were crossing.
I am headed to a field that used to be behind the last crescent in University Heights and which has now been turned into a lovely prairie walk.

There, behind the Ronald MacDonald house for families whose children are in the hospital  is an asphalt path for serious runners, bikers and the occasional person like me -- a stroller.

I was the only pedestrian at 6 am.
I have walked the path a number of times now – one hour and fifteen minutes for me to do the whole loop. Today is the first day I thought to bring my camera with me, and of course that doubled the time I took to walk the path, and changed the way I was looking at the world as well.

Just as I would get some moment ready to shoot, I would have to wonder – is it the shot I am loving, or the smell of the prairie air, the sound of the gophers, the ducks quacking as they fly over head, the rustle of the last year’s rose hips still on old branches.

I was busy making lists – as I always am. This time the list was about lists – what was important to me in my 20’s, in my 30’s and even trying to define what it is that has new importance to me in this decade.

No pencil in pocket, but the ideas were shuffling around in my head when I looked down and saw some graffiti on the sidewalk.

Sidewalk Art Work
When did this start, I thought? I had been enjoying the look of the path before me, going into infinity, observing that some of the cement blocks had been replace – and then this funny little face, nicely painted on a square.

I haven’t seen this elsewhere – trends come and go ... so perhaps this one is fading, and not on its way in. So ... walking before six am and wondering about my life – thinking ... what have been pivotal moments from my own experience.

All I could come up with was the following:

Five Years Old – Wear underwear in the morning. The tricycle seat is cold without it.

Six Years Old – Test out God’s goodness. He hasn’t answer my sincere prayer about sending a nickel since my mom refused to give me one. Why doesn’t he want me to walk to the Jenkins corner grocery store, Jenkins, and get ice-cream?

Ten Years Old – Don’t let Doral catch me smoking again.

Twelve Years Old – Earn lots of felt badges for my Beehive bandelo. Doral wouldn’t let me join Brownies when I was eight and this is my first chance to earn badges and display them on my body.

Eighteen Years Old – Study French verbs. I have said I won’t attend Mutual anymore. Doral says I must, but he can see he is in trouble.  I mean business. He compromises. I don’t have to go in the class – just sit outside in the corridor. I do well in French at school from all of that studying.

Twenty-One – Graduate.  Then travel to Peru. I did a project on Peru when I was in Grade IV and I have a lingering desire to see if what I read was true.  I don't get to Peru, but I don't give up my dream of travelling, either.

Thirtyish -Have Family Home Evening for the prophet has promised that families who do, will not loose one of their children and of course, I want everyone to go to heaven.

Forty – Hang onto the idea that when your kids are teen-agers, you should think that success is achieved if you can just keep your head above water.

Fifty – Learn the names of the people I work with. I have been out of the work force for 35 years and my learning curve is a steep one.

Sixty – Try to live by my lawyer’s advice: “ If you are going to court, you might as well enjoy the day there. You are paying for it.”  And remember the second piece of advice -- the court room is not about justice.  It is only about settling differences.

Seventy – Walk every day, ... it is the most important job for me, now that I am retired.

And then my list-making stops for I have arrived at the Wet Pond.



  1. I am SO glad to know that I am going to heaven! :-) yea for family home evening!

  2. My Dad never caught me smoking. I smoked about four puffs of a cigarette when I was about 14 years old. My friends and I hid the box of cigarettes under a rock at the park and I don't think we ever retrieved them. I was almost a saint. I am going to exercise more faithfully starting May 4th, 2012.

  3. David and I spotted two white tailed deer near the rec centre in salmon arm. They were munching grass back to back. David and his friend Steven were convinced it was a fart fight. Oh the glorious days of the end of grade one.