Monday Morning Musings

Posted on October 4, 2021 under Monday Morning Musings with 2 comments



The sun setting on a successful marathon walk (Len/Pouria and Chad)

(Chad Bourdages photo)


It is Sunday morning. I’m sitting here at my laptop trying to tap out my Monday piece. I must admit (and this is not whining but an observation), I am stiff and sore. I did my final long walk of 2021, a memorial walk of sorts. A few of us decided to do a walking marathon (42km) as our personal acknowledgment of National Day Truth and Reconciliation Day observed a few days ago.

There are still many people who don’t believe that the treatment of indigenous people was as bad as purported in the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. There are also people who don’t believe in vaccines or seat belts. Maybe the only thing that we might all agree on is a beautiful sunset but even then, there are scrooges and pessimists who can find clouds on a sunny day. Optimists believe that rainbows will appear after a rainy day.

There was a time when I thought that walking (or running) a marathon wasn’t such a big deal. I keep reminding myself that sane people don’t do extreme things like this. They do sensible things like walk 5km, eat two cookies in one sitting, use crosswalks, and settle for just one glass of wine. These rational people (I don’t know many of them!) are paragons of virtue. I have finally realized (I think) that my days of extremism are over. My body hurts today and that is actually not a bad thing. My pain will be short lived, and it is not terminal, although the recovery times are getting much longer.

It was a perfect fall day for a long walk. It was sunny and cool all day. As always, I was struck by the vastness of the land. If I was back home now, I’m sure I would be watching the leaves turn color. It is one of the most magical gifts provided by Mother Nature. Being above the tree line, one might think that the mountainous landscape would be rather bland by comparison. Wrong. The colors are more muted but no less spectacular as vegetation in the mountains and on the tundra show their reds, oranges, yellows and rust hues. When the sun hits them at a certain angle, they are spectacular.

A good friend messaged me after the walk. She was concerned about the state of my health. She knows about the issues with my back and knee and was wondering about pain levels. I can see many of you shaking your heads wondering why someone with these infirmities would tackle something so grueling. There is no answer that would make an ounce of sense. Ask any long-distance runner and they will tell you that when the pain kicks in, you just have to redirect it. In my case, all I had to do was think about the indignities done to indigenous people over the years to gain some much-needed perspective. And let’s face it, we’ll all have lots of time to rest when our expiry date shows up!

Oh man, am I kicking my arse this morning. Two nights ago, the northern lights made their first appearance in a while. It was a perfectly clear, starry night. Living beside the bay where there are no obstructions and few lights from the village, I get to see the northern lights in all their glory. They danced along the edges of the mountains, pirouetting every few seconds. As an added bonus, the lights were reflecting on the bay. No magician could replicate this sleight of hand.

I was told Sunday morning that the northern lights were jaw dropping Saturday night. Had I known, all that was required was for me to open my bedroom curtains a few feet away and I could have watched from my bed. But to get the curtains open would have required me to actually get out of bed. Only James MacEachern’s boom truck would have been able to perform this delicate operation, such was the precarious state of my body.

One might think that sleep would come easy after such a long day. We left at 8:00 in the morning and including rest stops and a lunch break, we staggered home at 6:00. Actually, in my experience, it is very difficult to sleep after a huge day of exercise and fresh air. I tossed and turned as I tried to find a comfortable position. When I realized the futility of this exercise, I did what any noble person would do. I swung my legs over the edge of the bed, trudged to the kitchen, grabbed the jug of milk and a bag of cookies.

I swear to god I was so tired that I stopped at three cookies.

Have a great week.

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