Friday, June 10, 2011

The beauty out here

For the first time in a month or so, I picked up my feet and ran. It felt terrible. But it got better. I alternately ran and walked according to my body, pushing myself without hurting myself. In the stroller, J chatted, sang, and eventually fell asleep near the turn-around point. It was a relaxing return, with a sleeping toddler in tow.

I almost ran right by a fawn in some bushes to my left. Something made me turn my head, and suddenly I was eye-to-eye with a fuzzy little deer. When I realized that I had come to a complete stop I moved on quickly, before its mother made me.
As I ran on, I thought of these much-maligned suburbs. My neighbourhood is far from pretty. A grid of gravel roads, lined with ditches and 1970’s bungalows, few of any architectural distinction. Occasionally an original farmhouse, charming but out of place. Newer streets meander past 1980’s two-stories, full of oak and brass. The car is king. The closest restaurant has a drive-thru.
And yet, when I open my windows I hear songbirds and crickets. A rabbit lives in our yard. Deer stroll by at sunset. We are 500 yards from a trail that runs across the country. Across the trail and over the train tracks are working farms. We walk to the skate park, fields, and a driving range-and-ice cream parlour. 
Cat-tails frame the public tennis courts, and red-winged blackbirds watch the match.
The beauty of our neighbourhood isn’t its buildings. It is all around them. 

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