Wednesday, February 06, 2019

let us all sing at the top of our toes

So when I got to the starting line for the race this past Sunday, I got there about 48 minutes before we were to start. I found a spot against a side wall, about ten paces behind the start line. I know I am not the fastest so I didn't want to be in front.

As I waited, more and more people showed up, some in front most in back. Almost all were Francophone Quebeckers. It is at events like this that I am reminded that I live in the midst of a vibrant and rich culture/community of which, at best, I am only peripherally aware. If I spent more time reading about news in Quebec from French media, if I attended more cultural events and if I engaged more in meeting people from that community, I wouldn't feel so out of place when attending events like the one I just did.

To be clear, 'feel so out of place' is way too strong an expression to describe how I felt at the time; mostly it was just an awakening feeling, coming to a realization anew, that there is a wider world right at my doorstep.

That there is no absolute need or requirement for me to engage with, learn about or immerse myself in a French-Quebec culture is the reason why it hasn't really ever happened.

While waiting, I was accosted by another runner, clearly older than I. We chatted a bit and I asked him his age, he said he was 64; the inverse of my age. I hope to still be able to be running races like this when I'm that age, and beyond. I suppose if I keep at it and don't ever stop, there shouldn't be reason, barring serious injury, that would prevent me from meeting this goal.

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