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I’ve had a bit of a busy weekend, if you can call it that. Our national day was on Thursday, July 1. Canadians celebrated 137 years of nationhood on that day with a great many festivals, ending in fireworks in the evening all across the country. So for me, it has been a four day weekend, as it was for a great many other Canadians.
In retrospect, for the most part, the weekend was a time of high energy expenditure, which I was very happy to note that I was fit and able to do. I walked extensively each of the four days of this “weekend”- along one of the many city beaches lining Lake Ontario on Thursday; on Friday checking out which library would be nice to call my “home” library after I move soon (I’ll be located in between two very lovely libraries, which is a pleasant prospect); Saturday involved more walking, both in the late morning as well as early evening; and on Sunday walking in a large park (over 400 acres) near my home.
On Saturday, I had occasion to walk along a couple of very lovely little streets situated near the heart of downtown Toronto, close to Kensington Market – my ultimate destination. They were an amazing oasis in this city which can seem relentless on a hot day due to lack of green space. These few blocks illustrated the wisdom of green space in a most wonderful way as well as the possibility of how life can be lived, even in this early 21st century. The neighbourhood is probably 100 +/- years old. The trees reach high above the homes and actually shade the road as well as the street. Gentle breezes swept through the leaves, lowering the general city temperature by a few degrees. Although there were a few lawns here and there, the majority of gardens were of the variety that require no mowing because they incorporate trees, bushes and plants other than grass. That evening, I walked from home to the lake shore, along the lake shore for a short while, and then all the way back again. It is not close, and I was positively impressed with my ability to walk such a distance (resting here and there, to be sure) and not be exhausted when I returned home.
I suppose such activities necessarily create an impression of invincibleness – that one can go on forever, that energy is available abundantly, that memories of low energy days had to be exaggerated, that life will never end, etc., etc. However, Sunday was quite a different day from the others. It rained in the early hours of the morning and in the early evening as well. The skies remained somewhat overcast all day, with high humidity and pollution readings. I thought going to nearby High Park was a good idea since I am obviously in such good shape, and I was absolutely fine - until I got home. I read somewhere in the past week that when polluted air is surrounding us on these low barometric pressure days, we are actually being surrounded by a cloud of tiny invisible particles, which easily enter our lungs. Days such as these sap my energy, making me feel sick, and this was, once again, the net result of exerting myself, even in such a pleasant manner.
The weekend brought valuable lessons. Although I wore a wide-brimmed hat every time I went outside and covered my eyes with sunglasses, I have not been in the habit of using sunscreen, and after several days of longer exposure than is my norm, I ended up with rather unhappy reddened cheeks, to my surprise. This has not happened before. Our atmosphere is definitely disintegrating! Guess who will be buying what, the next time I go to the health food store! I need to be more selective about activities on “smuggy” days – my name for when the smog and muggy conditions combine to make me miserable. I can benefit from following the detoxification protocol outlined in the BTD Encyclopaedia on such days, as well as strictly following my diet in terms of as many beneficial foods as possible, particularly during these difficult summer times. The next few days will have me thinking about a plan of defence for summer pollution. It will be very useful, indeed.