#892 The Last Winter Walk

It felt like so long ago since I had done this.

These were my thoughts as I walked the 10 minutes from the car park to work, just before 7am this morning. I had had the last couple of Wednesdays off, but still, the previous ones I had worked I must have had a late shift, because this walk felt like something I hadn’t done in a LONG time.

It was peaceful. Still. Few people around. Working in the city outskirts, means that even in peak hour, there is a smaller group heading off to work and going about their day, much smaller in size than if you were to go, bang smack in the middle of the city, and have to scurry about like a hamster on a wheel.

It was still dark, and yet the first light of the day was starting to filter through. The Bolte Bridge’s lights shone above the water in the near horizon. Boats slept. Runners jogged/shuffled by with earphones on. The regular café guy started opening up shop, putting on the lights inside and taking out tables. Trams whizzed by silently.

Things were happening, and life was still moving. But it was all hush hush.

It was actually, beautiful.

I pondered this as I shoved my hands into my jacket pockets, borrowing my face into my scarf. It was still cold. I knew that the next two Wednesdays I had late shifts – therefore, I wouldn’t be walking like this, at 7 in the morning on those days. Rather, my start time would be at the leisurely hour of 3… PM.

I started to calculate. If I do two more late Wednesdays, and then I’m on holidays for a few weeks… I won’t be doing an early Wednesday shift, until September.

The next time I will be walking in the morning like this, it’ll be Spring.

Oh! I realised with excitement. This is my last Winter walk for the year.

Suddenly, EVERYTHING INSIDE OF ME HALTED. My legs kept moving forward tentatively, yet everything in my head whirred to a direct halt.

Redundancy. Moving on. New jobs.

I wouldn’t be here next Winter. This was my last Winter walk to work, EVER.

The acknowledgement suddenly saddened me. Sure it was cold… but here we were, months and months and months away from finishing up, and suddenly I was experiencing one of the many ‘lasts’ that I would inevitably come across as I made my way slowly but surely, to the work finishing line.

In this race, we were all crossing the line together. We were unified in our change, but it was still horribly bittersweet.

I was immediately relieved that I had made the Winter Walk realisation. I crossed the road, and paused near my work, taking some photos.

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Those pine trees I’d complained about, when they’d replaced them with the original palm trees years ago… I’ll miss them.

That street I walk up religiously to get my coffee fix… I’ll miss it.

That view. It’s pretty darn impressive, even in Winter. Even in the dark.

Those boats. They have allowed me to daydream and ponder as they waft and tilt over the swaying waters.

Even the God-damn mirrored elevator in the building.

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Sure, I’ll miss that too. What with the bright lights allowing you to see every pimple on your face, yet with enough of a warm glow that makes you feel like you too, might be able to jump in front of the cameras and give the latest news update.

Oh, it’s beginning. The ‘lasts’ are-a-coming.

Thank God for phones. Thank God for photos.

Because the memories will always remain. ♥

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