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Walking the silent streets

I had a very unusual walk on Sunday morning.

The route was nothing unusual, one of my usual paths around my neighbourhood. What made it strange, and I didn’t really think about it until I got back to the apartment building, was that I didn’t see anyone else while I was out for about 40 minutes.

Yes, it was just after 6 a.m., but I’ve gone for walks at that time of day before and usually see at least a few people, but on Sunday, nobody.

I didn’t even see very many vehicles. I saw a couple on Tabor Boulevard while I was walking along it and a few on 15th Avenue when I was on it for a couple of blocks, but when I left the main streets, the streets were completely empty.

In some respects, I didn’t mind, since it gave me time to think. There are times when me thinking and walking is a recipe for trouble. I have on a few occasions found myself walking further than I figured because I got caught up in my thoughts and missed the turn I wanted to take.

When I mention this to people, I usually add it’s not hard for me to get lost in thought, because it’s unfamiliar territory.

It was a brisk morning, so I wasn’t dilly-dallying but I also wasn’t walking as fast as I frequently do. My aim when I’m trying to walk at a good pace is to always breathe through my nose. If I find myself opening my mouth to take a breath, I take it as a sign to slow things back down a bit.

It may not be scientifically accurate, but I also use it as a bit of a check on not having COVID-19. One of the most common symptoms I see on the lists is shortness of breath. I figure if I’m walking at a good pace and not breathing hard, I can cross that symptom off the list.

As I walked on Sunday morning, the funny thing was before I realized I hadn’t seen any people at all was I noticed I hadn’t seen any people out with dogs. Most times I’m out for a walk, there are a number of people taking their canine companions for a walk.

I get a bit of a kick out of observing the dog’s demeanor and pace. Some of them you can tell are just doing this because it makes their owner happy. They usually aren’t dragging on the leash, but they’re just walking or trotting beside their owner.

Then there are the other ones who are almost tearing their owner’s arm out of its socket as they surge in every direction at the same time, investigating this big world they’ve been allowed out into. It may be exactly the same path they walked the day before, but to them it’s a whole new world out there.

I have to admit, I find myself sometimes slowing down a bit when I see a dog like that, and taking a few extra minutes to really look around me at the scenes I’m passing through. It’s something I realize I don’t do often enough.

As I got back to my apartment building Sunday morning, I passed a piece of Telus equipment with a couple of crows on it, ‘talking’ to each other. The first thing that came to mind was, “Oh, they must be on a conference ‘caw’.”

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