The Wild Beat
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Editor's note: Sarah McLellan is covering the Wild during the NHL postseason in her birthplace of Edmonton, but first must spend 14 days confined to her hotel room. She'll write regularly to her father, who now lives in Arizona, with an update on life with limited freedom.

Dear Dad,

Quarantine is over!

When I woke up this morning, I could sense the change – that I was no longer confined to this hotel room. I could leave! And I did.

That first step out the door felt just as monumental as I expected. I kept moving, pausing at the elevator, and then picking up the pace again as soon as the doors burst open. Once I exited the lobby, I smiled and inhaled the fresh air I’d been waiting for and the reunion was perfect.

It was windy outside, and I didn’t find it annoying that strands of my hair kept flying in my face. I missed the breeze, and it felt refreshing on my face. I wore a jean jacket, not knowing how I’d recalibrate to a temperature I could no longer control with the push of a button, but it really wasn’t necessary. The sun was shining, and I could tell this was going to be a gorgeous day.

I’m obviously familiar with Edmonton, since this is where I was born and lived until I was 9 years old, but I hadn’t seen the city like this in a while – quiet sidewalks basking in a summer morning while the high-rises loomed overhead. It felt like getting reacquainted with an old friend, and we certainly have some catching up to do.

After I passed the Legislature building, I veered left and saw the park I was looking for after a few blocks. Soon I was overlooking the North Saskatchewan River, the High Level bridge to my left and the Royal Glenora Club off to the right. Remember that one time I had a singing recital there?

The view was just as tranquil as I remembered, the green and blue hues so vibrant. I just stopped and stared. And then I turned back, retracing my steps.

It was time to get to work.

I’ll miss writing you every day; it was a highlight of quarantine, and it made it feel like you were right there with me every step of the way. But you always are.

You’re the reason I’m here now. Well, technically the Star Tribune is the one who sent me to Edmonton. But I’m in this position, living out my dream covering hockey, because of you. You introduced me to this sport, and I've loved it every since.

I’ll never forget that.

That’s all for now, but we’ll talk soon. And I’ll see you when I see you.