The third in a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week: a January 7, 2018 walk alongside the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg.
It’s a well-trod path, this one. From our home in the Wolseley neighbourhood, it takes me west along the south side of Assiniboine River to my destination, Assiniboine Park, and then back home along trails and quiet streets skirting the river’s north bank.
It’s hard to say how many hundreds of times I have walked this route over the past twenty-plus years. Enough to admit that I do it by rote. Without thinking it through, without commands from the cortex, my feet autonomously carry me along the dirt paths, paved trails and residential streets. I am not discovering new territory. I make no attempt to go off-course. I know where I will stop for a washroom break, where I will turn around and head back home, how many kilometres I will walk, all before I step out the door. I know it will be pleasurable, peaceful, calming.
The broad strokes of this walk are established. It is the details that will occupy my senses. Details that change seasonally and with every walk. Crisp winter air. The river flooding its banks in spring. The heat of summer. Sun filtering through lush foliage. The pungent aroma of fall. The crunch of dry brown leaves under foot. The quiet.
And today, the white cloak of winter. Clean. Pure. Revealing.