Ah, June… Summer is at our doorstep, the days are (almost all of them) seeming to get a little bit longer, and for the second year in a row I am partaking in my daily blogging exercise, marginally focused along a theme I’ve simply called Those 30 posts in June. No planning. No writing stuff days ahead. Just this: each day a meanderingly vague prompt drives a meanderingly vague post… and today that post just happens to be:
June 4th // Something You Have Seen
Yesterday afternoon was one of those amazing pre-summer days. It was sunny and just warm enough to be outside without a jacket, but still cool enough to enjoy a mildly exerting walk without sweating too profusely and ducking for shade every few minutes.
When we moved into this south-ish neighborhood of the city it was largely for two reasons: (1) because we were building a new home and the area was still a remote, disconnected corner of the city with lower than average property values yet due to rise with upcoming construction, and (2) we fell in love with the idea of living so close to the river valley, an awesome ‘ribbon of green’ park system, and an area with so much green-space development potential.
That, as of the end of this week, was seven years ago.
And, the yesterday being the near-perfect weather-day that it was, I took advantage of the second of those reasons by going on one of my random explorations of the nearby trail system. Which, of course, brings me to what I’ve seen… lots of change.
A few weeks after we moved in I started exploring this patch of river valley on random walks. I would wander into the tree-line paths, trudge through narrow trails, deep down towards the river. The route was largely uneven, broken, and sometimes slightly dangerous (at least for an urban park system.) I would seek out hidden vantage points to watch the construction of the Anthony Henday bridge. I would sneak down to the river, get a little bit lost, and then bush-whack back into civilization, never quite certain where I’d wind up emerging.
Then the bridge completed construction, and suspended below that a pedestrian foot bridge. A year later followed a smooth asphalt path down through my once-secluded,seemingly-personal hiking grounds. A couple years ago I realized that that same path is now the route of a increasingly popular half-marathon that descends into the valley, climbs back out the other side, and reverses to toruture participants with a pair of epic climbs.
Yesterday, I trudged back down my path, Sparkle in tow on a fairly short leash (because I was taking photos and there were dozens of cyclists coming and going) and I found myself admiring the neatly-mowed landscaping that was completed last fall and now made up a cute little park at about the same point where I used to hack through tall grasses and thorny wild rose bushes to get a better view of the river. I walked by my spot and quietly kept going not wanting to disturb the young lady meditating on a blanket in the cropped grasses.
Admittedly, when one reaches the foot bridge there is the familiar wildness that extends south beyond it, accessible by walking to the end of the asphalt fall-off and dropping down into a rough gravel trail towards the river. But with the new development that is going on nearby, and the obvious look of the path waiting to be built in that direction I don’t imagine it will be too many years until I’ll be able to walk another new ribbon of asphalt in that direction too.
I’ve seen the evolution of what is now a little park, and what is odd about that is that we’ve lived here long enough to have witnessed that.