On my walk this morning, I travelled from the west end of Lake Ontario, to St. John’s in Newfoundland. Really, I did.
  Well, maybe not “really”.
  Often when I’m out walking I stop to admire the view. And often, depending on where I’m facing, places I’ve been to in that direction flash in milliseconds through my mind.
  This morning was a particularly vivid case.
  I was watching the sun rise over the lake. Humidity blurred all but the nearest shoreline out of existence, so that all I saw was water, shining, changing colours as the sun climbed from below the horizon.
  And my mind set off.
  Past Toronto, hardly any traffic so early in the day. Soon Kingston, and then stay on the 401 or drive along the river? The 401. Stop at the Mallorytown On Route for food and bathroom break (there was no Covid in my head). Cornwall, and my next big decision: through, or north, or south, of Montreal?
  At the last second I swing south, and all the so-familiar places skim along in my head.
  Then the flat of the riverside, with the bumps of Mont St. Hilaire and Mont St. Bruno sticking up like thumbs. Soon, Quebec City across the river. And La Pocatière. I’ve always loved the shoreline near La Pocatière, the river huge and almost ocean-like, the land low and sandy.
  Rivière du Loup, no, not this time. I just go on, hills and forests now, past Cabano, on and on, up and down. And New Brunswick.
  There’s a point along the highway in the northern corner of New Brunswick, where a vast vista of rolling, forested hills is all you can see. It’s this view that tells me that I’ve arrived in the Maritimes. No, it doesn’t just tell me: it clangs the news out in my brain, so that I know that I’ve left the hurly-burly of central Canada well and truly behind me.
  Another favourite stop, near Woodstock. On, past Fredericton, Moncton, mind awash with memories. I leave PEI to itself, the vision of the Confederation Bridge, splendidly spanning the strait, sparkling in my head. On to Nova Scotia.
  Driving along the isthmus there, I always feel that I can just about reach one hand out to the Bay of Fundy, and the other to the Northumberland Strait. I can’t, of course, but I feel like I can. Every time, and this time, too.
  I stay north, leaving Truro, Halifax, unvisited, and arrive at the Canso Causeway. This is another place that energises me. I take a side trip through St. Peter’s and on to Point Michaud, one of the most beautiful places in the world, to me, and then it’s on to the ferry at North Sydney.
  Night crossing, though it’s still early morning where I’m walking. And then it’s morning at Port-aux-Basques, and the sea smells more and better here than anywhere, and the road takes me north, bends, east, and places and memories fly past. Or am I the one flying?
  St. John’s at last, and I’m up on Signal Hill. Journey’s end.
  And what a journey. Some of the places I’ve just passed are as they were a year or two ago. Others, five, ten, thirty years. I’ve been travelling the roads of both land and time.
  The sun is up now. Lake Ontario glistens and sparkles as a breeze rises and waves wrinkle its surface. I’m back.
  But I know I’ll make the trip, or another, again, another time. Whether in reality or in flits of mind, almost doesn’t matter.