Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The longest journeys begin with my favourite path

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I am always delighted when life puts me anywhere near Southdale. I first got to know the area as an eight-year-old who moved with her family and entered Grade 3 at Shamrock School. Southdale remained my home until adulthood, when I opted for rent and taxes over Mom and Dad's rules. It turns out I impose a lot of the same rules, only now they make sense.

At least twice a year, I am in the area to see the only dentist I have ever had (shout-out to Dr. McDermid), and I always follow my appointment by taking my freshly cleaned teeth on a tour of the old neighbourhood. I visit my childhood home on Sweetwater Bay, the cove where I played hide-and-go-seek for hours, and, weather permitting, I always take a stroll along my path.

It is an expanse of concrete sidewalk off Edgewater Drive that stretches between two lakes. The trail leads to both Lake Park Drive and Clearwater Road, although most of the time I would just turn around and trace my steps. I logged countless hours on that path, contemplating a vast array of things, depending on the particular moment in time. At 10 years old, my strolling thoughts were likely consumed with how to get back at my brother for some sibling atrocity. At age 12, I would have been obsessed with the life-or-death determination of who really was my best friend, and if she thought I was her best friend, and why was she spending so much time with her other friend? By 14 I floated down the path imagining my storybook wedding to any member of Duran Duran. We would have been so happy.

Over and over I would drain the batteries on my Sony Walkman (the one just slightly bigger than a cassette tape), as I navigated my way not only up and down that path, but into my life.

That passageway has born witness to my Oscar acceptance speeches, declarations of love for boys that never glanced my way, and all of the confrontations I was only ever brave enough to have in solitude.

My biannual strolls as an adult are far less emotionally charged (they would pretty much have to be), but I look forward to them just the same.

If you're ever in the area and in need of a sounding board, a creative spark or even just a moment's peace, I highly recommend my path.

I also know a really great dentist.

 

Caroline is a longtime broadcaster who now traverses trails around the Charleswood home, she shares with her husband Anthony and their 2 cats. She hopes you have your ticket in the Dream Lottery for Kids.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 2, 2012 A1

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