Sometimes when routines change we are given no warning and only after a few weeks pass we realise that something we had been doing repeatedly for a long time we are doing no longer.
I used to spend every afternoon in Five Dock Park chatting to dog people. I got to know the ins and outs of some the owners’ daily lives and even some intimate details about their often tangled lives.
One thundery afternoon I sadly said goodbye to my dog has he passed away on a vet’s table. I never said goodbye to my dog friends though and I don’t really know why. Maybe I just assumed they were transient relationships. At any rate, the lack of warning about the cessation of these fleeting connections saved me from any grieving for them.
Having walked the Bay for many years now, my Bay partners have changed occasionally and usually without warning.
Some have excused themselves on the basis of health – a bad knee – while others have taken up more structured exercise. Some, I suspect, have deserted me because they can’t keep up the pace!
Recently I have partnered with a woman who will soon return to England because of a divorce.
I know she is going in early June and I have started to countdown the number of Bay cycles left. We only walk on Sundays so there’s not many to go. I feel a sadness already and I wonder if she had just left without a word I would have coped better.
Despite the fact she is a new friend or perhaps because she is, I’ve told her things I’ve never told anyone, including my old friends. I wonder if the fleeting nature of the friendship has facilitated this or if it is the nature of walking that releases secrets so comfortably…
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