The important thing is turning up….

I wore my down jacket for the first time this morning along with my gloves. It truly is fall. The 8 o’clock gang arrived yawning and agreeing that the change of season made us all want to sleep longer. But, we are strong, we are women and we are the Toronto Power Walkers – so there we were, shivering and complaining but THERE.
One faction began by negotiating how short a distance they could go and retain their self-respect (turned out to be 6K+) while the ‘righteous’ group settled on a more ambitious 15K. We got into the rhythm of the walk and slowly warmed up. I enjoy the sensation of the warmth spreading from my core, down my arms and finally to my chilly finger tips – it is like truly waking up. We were walking against a backdrop of great beauty – the sun hitting the tops of the autumn painted trees. The reds are getting a little rusty but the yellow leaves still look like they are glowing from within when the light hits them. Sue provided the appropriate sound effects by shuffling through piles of fallen leaves – that sound always evokes my childhood when we raked up mounds and leaped into them.
As usual it was as much about the company and the conversation as the walking. We decided that everyone should allow themselves two ‘get out of jail free’ cards (one for the High Park season and one for the cemetery season) that they can use when they ‘just don’t feel like it’ – no other excuse needed. We talked about how, although we might moan about the early start, we always seemed to get the best part of the day (rain was forecast for later). We stretched after our walk near the benches and admired the last brave, blazing yellow begonias and a flame-red, spear-like flower we couldn’t name. Over breakfast we talked about poetry and I thought it would be fitting to end with two quotes about autumn that caught my fancy.
 Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.(George Elliot – I am sure she would be a TPW member if she was around today!)
Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile. (William Cullan Bryant)

P.S (from Phyllis) There were several TPWers (Phyllis, Bev, Catherine, Lorna, Judy with her poles) who braved the rain to walk the Scotiabank Half Marathon. Other racers included Alex (Susan’s husband) and Ron (Bev’s husband). In the end the weather wasn’t so bad, and the sun even came out for the last few kilometers.

Many thanks to Ela and her sister Mary, who greeted us with high fives and hugs at the finish line. Two more weeks until Washington!
We will be back at the Cemetery as of Nov. 3 and we will be having our fall social (dress code – medals!) on Nov. 20 at Harbord House – remember to let Sue know if you are coming.(

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