I began my steps through Ramsden Park, which is particularly busy this late afternoon. People are lined-up on both sides of the tennis courts waiting for a spot. The playgrounds are full. People are seated on the grass in circles. I wonder what they are talking about? The government is cracking down on gatherings starting tomorrow. A second wave of Covid-19 has begun and is drawing concern. Is that on people’s minds?
One circle of young men, five in number, looked my way as I strode along. I got the impression they were curious. Oh well!
I ambled along and tackled the very foresty Rosedale Valley Road, where there is green on both sides of this very angular ravine. In the middle of the ravine is the roadway itself, a curving channel of moving cars. Of course, it’s Friday late afternoon and it’s our Thanksgiving Day weekend, so anticipation for food and fun is high. Runners and cyclist share the sidewalk. I am among them.
I see, to some level of dismay, tucked-away, makeshift homes of tarps and branch-matter dwellings of the homeless. I put myself in the shoes of such citizens who are clearly living off-the-grid and in the green. I find it remarkable that these folks can bear this lifestyle day after day—the cold and sometimes wet.
I also walked by a more cheerful area—of crab apple, choke cherry and black walnut trees. Also, on a lower level, beneath the trees, golden rod and blue chicory wildflowers were in bloom. I came back full circle and face-to-face with the group of men whom I surmised as thoughtful. Bearing a smile of curiosity and now standing, one of the guys asked me, “How do you keep warm wearing those clothes?” It started a conversation.