The first morning after arriving in Canada, I spent it for running.

Then it immediately became something that I am so obsessed with, neither because I want to keep healthy, nor because I want to lose weight. It’s just so beautiful.

It’s autumn in Canada. The weather is cool and a bit dry. Leaves start turning more colorful, drifting down to cover the ground after the wind blows. We are living in the southern neighborhood of University of Waterloo, where houses are more than 30 years old. Most of the people living here are not students but the ones who have a long story with the place, which added more tranquility and imagination to the neighborhood. It’s usually below 10 degree at sunrise, but temperature would climb up to 10+ after an hour or two. Now the time for running has come.

Trees and herbals are thriving along the side of the road, with streams hidden inside, providing a perfect reservation for wild animals within the neighborhood. While running pass the trees, the sound of branches and leaves shaking comes out very often. The babies of nature are moving and jumping quickly in the shelter. Clearly they think they own the whole forest regardless of being separated by asphalt roads. Coming out from the trees, staring at the cars passing by, sometimes carrying a fruit, running across the road, disappearing in the collision of branches and leaves, are their normal lives. They are squirrels.

Squirrels are one of the most observative and agile creatures in the world. They have already been used to such living style with our community. Human and cars are not fearing for them. They always cross the road or run away at a normal speed. No hurry, no relax. Squirrels are even more common to see than sparrows in Singapore. With their presence, it never feels lonely when running in the quiet neighborhood in the morning.

Canada geese is another big group of animal that is everywhere around us. Unlike squirrels, they prefer to stay together on the plane and take food from the grass. They are larger in size and chill to human. When you run pass them, they won’t even give you a glimpse. Therefore you can always get really close to them and take a shot.

Gardens in the neighborhood, no matter private or public, are never enclosed with any fencing. Runners are always welcome to enjoy the beautiful crafts from gardeners right at the side of the road. The flowers are still colorful and plants are still thriving before winter comes, which drives people to run more at the time with most enjoyment and company of nature.

There are even more. University, nearby parks and uptown are not so far away with respect to running. The most exciting part of running is exploring the neighbourhood around. When the place is large, and time is enough, it’s an amazing lifestyle to take a look at everywhere nearby through every possible path, then in future a customized route of running can be decided by heart.

Wish you would have chance to enjoy the exciting running experience in Canada. Hurry up! The winter is coming!

Qiao Rui

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