Pavan Park, Lethbridge, Alberta
This time around the Pavan loop offered up sunlight reflecting on water, a porcupine in a tree, beautiful land art by Troy, the call of a Northern Flicker, beaver-chewed branches, mud, riverspace, sunspace, skyspace, hillspace, trees. Awareness.
Location: Pavan Park, Lethbridge, Alberta
Date: 28 March, 2020
Around Mountain View Cemetery, Lethbridge, Alberta
Walking from my house, we met (at a distance - no hugs in these pandemic days) at the cemetery, and walked down the hill towards the empty golf course* at the river bottom. We followed deer and human trails up the coulee side, skirting the cemetery until we found an unlocked gate. Then through the rows of trees and rows of headstones, and back home. Trying to figure it all out as we walked.
*The country club golf course blocks public right of way to the coulees, claiming their private land all the way to the river front, and forcing walkers and cyclists to climb all the way up the hill and back down to get around their private property. Trespassing made obligatory.
Location: Around & below Mountain View Cemetery, Lethbridge, Alberta
Length: 4 km
Date: 27 March 2020
River valley trail, Redcliff, Alberta
It's been a day of baking bread and making soup and reading, a day mostly spent at home (as they will be from here on in). But it's also a sunny spring day, a mud-puddle day, and we weren't the only ones taking a walk in the river valley. No matter how our lives are limited in other ways these strange days, people seem to be openly grateful for the simple freedom of walking outdoors. These are the things we need right now - movement, fresh air, direct connection to the world outside our doors. A reminder of the expanse of sky and water and earth that is always there. I think we're losing our habit of taking so much for granted these days.
Location: South Saskatchewan River Valley, Redcliff, Alberta
Length: 3 km
Date: 22 March, 2020
Scenic to downtown and back, Lethbridge, Alberta
First day of working from home due to the pandemic, and I know how lucky I am to be able to do so. Months of sore-footed not-walking have to end, because my lungs and mind demand a walk, even a sore-footed one. Lungs and mind are tight from too much news; neither can expand properly sitting inside with constant updates. Breathing fresh cold air relaxes lungs first, then nerves, then mind. And my eyes need to contact shapes and shadows and colour and light. The world is still right here, as ordinary and beautiful as always.
Location: near Scenic Drive to downtown and back, Lethbridge, Alberta
Date: 18 March, 2020
Sandra Cowan likes to walk on trails, paths, and city streets. She is based in southern Alberta, Canada.