Today I went walking in King's Park, which is in Fort Richmond, fairly near my high school. It's also just down the road from where my best friend from high school lived. It's a big park, with some groomed parts, some parts that feel wild, a pond with bridges to a little island, lots of paths around it, and it's on the shore of the Red River. There's also a new walking labyrinth in the park, in memory of author Carol Shields (who was from Winnipeg). Near the labyrinth is a wall with quotes from some of Shield's novels. I saw one, in particular, that really stuck with me:
At the edge of every experience is the refracted light of recollection, snagged there like an image in a bevelled mirror.
–The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields
This is what I'm experiencing this weekend. I'm in this place, but the memories of my life are snagged around the edges of everything, of every conversation, every place I go, everyone and everything I see. Even the smell of Winnipeg, which I can't describe, throws me back to being 9 years old. Slipping on the sidewalk because it has gravel on it, leftover from the winter sanding of the streets: I'd forgotten about that until I felt the crunch under foot.
I've also brought with me a book: Awake in the World, by Michael Stone. This book, subtitled Teachings from Yoga and Buddhism for Living an Engaged Life, is his reflections on life and work being human. Reading this book is helping to keep me grounded in this moment, in this weekend, and to have fun with everyone.