Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Run With Lindsay


As I back the car out of the driveway and turn south, Lindsay begins to quiver and whine with excitement on the back seat. She knows heading south means we are going to the park at the bottom of Morningside Avenue today, where the field is large and she can run free.

It's been a while since we visited this park. There is no reason for that, I just haven't thought to take her here for a while. So this is a special treat for her.

We turn left at Gardentree and pass the early morning high school students marching under the weight of their backpacks toward Laurier Collegiate. I attended Laurier as did both my daughters. In fact, my daughter Kathy and I shared the same Geography teacher. He was in his Freshman year when he taught me and was Head of the Department by the time he taught her. His entire teaching career spent at the same school.

At the end of Gardentree, we turn south again toward the GO train tracks. As we approach, the lights start to flash and the gates begin to come down. We slow to a stop. The sight of the flashing lights gets Lindsay excited again. She loves trains and knows exactly what the flashing lights mean.

We wait and we wait.

And then a trans Canada VIA train blasts through the intersection at an insane speed and is gone.

The gates stay closed and the lights continue to flash. I look back at Lindsay who is dancing on the back seat.

"Another train coming, Lins" I tell her, just as a long double decker GO commuter train limps through the intersection. For reasons known only to her, Lindsay is interested only in the lead car of the train. Once it's past, she looses interest and is anxious to get going.

Bored commuters look out the train windows at our car. They see just another car at just another crossing as they're on just another commute to just another day at the office.

Then, finally, the train is gone and we get on our way, after a cautious glance along the tracks in both directions.

At the bottom of Morningside we turn onto Meadowvale and approach the park at the top of the Scarborough Bluffs. It is a small park off a suburban street with no room for cars. So I pull over to the side of the road and take Lindsay out on the leash.

The vast grassy plain stretches off toward the East along the top of the bluffs. The grass was last cut in the late fall and is now tall and scraggly with enormous puddles from the recent melt turning parts of it into small ponds. There are three other dog walkers in the park. We say "Hello" as we pass them by on the way to the leash free zone at the park's end.

But finally we get there and I tell Lindsay to "Hold it". She knows what this means and stands perfectly still. Waiting. I unclick her's leash and she flies.