Run your city // Run at dawn

- Photos by Louis-Mathieu Godin
You leave with shreds of dreams tied to your shoelaces. The sun is still only a promise. Your day, a horizon, clearly more distant than that at the end of the street.
You step out as the indigo turns orange in the sky on this brand new day. Everything updated itself overnight in your mind. Most of the worries that kept you awake a few hours earlier have taken advantage of the darkness to flee. Those you have left, you will leave in your wake.

You run at dawn for this, for freedom. Because no one needs you, your phone will not vibrate or give a notification alert. The day has not yet had time to pile the sources of stress on your shoulders. This lightness is divine, you savor it.
The wind hasn't picked up yet either. Like most of your fellow citizens, he's waiting for something to get going, so to speak. An invisible signal that blends into the course of the days.
The silence is punctuated by a few engine noises here and there. By avoiding the arteries, you can make yourself believe that the whole city is still sleeping, that it's yours for a few minutes, while people get out of bed and unfold, stretching like cats.
You've read all the blogs where billionaires talk about how they start their working day at 5 a.m. You prefer to run before anything else. Dawn is an opportunity to refuel, to empty. Running is always a bit of both. The vacuum of effort sucks everything in to make room for the new. Afterwards, even old ideas seem to have been polished, improved. Brilliantly eroded by the air you slice through, which slides over your body, over your face, and stretches your smile without you knowing it.

You increase the pace and your thoughts disintegrate. Your smile becomes a grimace. Your run is an active meditation in the rising sun. The muscular pain and the air which burns your bronchial tubes flatten the influx of your thoughts. Shortly after waking up, normally, your electro-encephalogram already evokes the mad curve of the stock market on a day of crisis. After the gentle awakening, which lasts only a moment, you feel assailed by a thousand questions. This is the lot of our anxiety-provoking era where days and incomplete tasks are displayed on the screen of our insatiable consciences.
But not there. Not this morning. The bliss of the first steps in the dawn allows you to postpone the deadline for this resumption of emissions.
In the middle of Avenue Maguire, totally deserted, you straighten your back, take a deep breath to restore your breath and head back to town. You make a detour in the Bois-de-Coulonge. Squirrels the size of raccoons watch you pass without worrying about your presence. Trees that have seen Champlain disembark are watching you from above. You guess their roots, the complex rhizomes that connect them to each other and allow them to share nutrients, to warn each other in case of danger – a metaphor for a society that deserves to take an example from this prodigious nature.
You go up Grande Allée, obliquely towards the Plains, down towards the Château Frontenac, passing in front of the American consulate. The river reassures you. Immense. Placid. Its water is now iridescent with red and pink reflections. As a signal telling you that this moment of floating is over and that you will have to go back.
You breathe in the morning air. It fills your lungs. The first cars move slowly in the narrow streets of Old Quebec that you go down thinking of what awaits you. The smell of coffee, toast. The news of the day, bad wherever it comes from. It doesn't matter, the race allows it, you can have lunch in peace.