Out on the sidewalk, fresh out of bed, I made a split-second decision to run the other way. I decided to run west, away from the promise of the rising sun.
I hadn’t run west yet on that road. I’d driven it over the course of our short tenure in the rental house. I knew up over the hill, as the residential street ended, there was a 4-way stop. If I turned right I’d go down a similar residential street, past the ball diamonds, and hit the village. But if I went straight through, I’d slip into wheat-coloured farmland, pass the fairground and the high school, and from there I wasn’t sure. Ultimately, I suppose, I’d run right into the inlet.
So I wondered if I could run to the sea. It didn’t seem that far.
I started out along the damp sidewalk. The air was cool but edged with warm, as if choosing moment to moment which way to go on an early September morning. I hopped over fir branches scattered on the sidewalk. Had it been windy last night?
Through the 4-way stop, I passed the lentil and wheat farm, with the old-fashioned combine on display out front. And the house that sells brightly-coloured flowers in bunches at the end of the driveway. Somewhere in the distance a rooster crowed. A V of birds passed over head, against the slate sky. I passed an open field, edged with a white fence intertwined with blackberry bushes. Mist hung low just above the grass. Just in the field. Weird.
Eventually the sun emerged behind me. The backs of my bare legs felt its warmth. My shadow cast on the sidewalk ahead of me. Everything was illuminated. Everything glistened. Everything was framed in light.
I stopped for a minute. Breath heavy, hands on hips, taking in the sun-touched rural picture.
I didn’t need to see the sun to know it was there.