Last Day

A backlit High Level Bridge

Friday, November 5th. The last work day of Daylight Saving, and my last day to take the long way home through the woods and trails of the river valley. The thing is, I was tired, and I could have taken a shorter route, but I just kept walking until the sun ran out. It seemed the right thing to do.

I took my final step out of the river valley around 6:10, when the sky was a soft blue, and the light had passed from that gilded hyper-focus of just before sundown to the diffused purple of dusk. There were no other people on the trails. Other than a small, fat-footed white rabbit near the entry to Mill Creek Ravine, I was entirely alone. The hare was obviously very young, and it was motionless long enough for me to pull out my camera, but not long enough to actually pull off a shot, which explains why 99% of my photographs are of trees and rocks. The other rabbits I’ve seen of late have been half and half. This is the first snow white specimen, and it was shockingly conspicuous amongst all the brown. Just like I’d be on a beach. I hope it snows soon (that’s what the rabbit said, before it ran away.)

Daylight Saving is such a blandly descriptive phrase. And it’s not even that descriptive. No actual daylight is

Self-portrait in trees

saved, it’s just redistributed. And the name doesn’t begin to capture the promise of long summer evenings, or conversely, the crushing blow when Daylight Saving is lifted, and the hours are marked not by the abundance of light, but by the absence of it. It’s a self-imposed feel good/feel bad situation, like watching ballet, or opening a bag of fun-sized Mars Bars. It starts out great, but by the end, you want to open a vein.

It’s OK. Really. The dark holds it’s own kind of promise, and I actually love winter, but I will miss the daily walks in the wood. Until mid-January, it’s all about the street lights of Jasper Avenue and the speeding traffic of 99 St. Headphones to drown out the noise, and layers of clothing to keep out the cold. Even in winter, all walks are good walks.


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