mississippi river road path, south/north
After biking in the front room on the stand for 25 minutes, I decided to go out an do a quick run. What a beautiful morning! It’s amazing how 25 degrees can feel warm and spring-like. Ran south, towards the falls and looked across the gorge to St. Paul. Because they don’t plow the walking path in the winter, I usually only run on the biking path, but I noticed that the walking path had a few bare patches so on my way back, I took the snow-covered trail. A few treacherous ice patches, but not too bad. What’s happening to me? I’m choosing to run on snow instead of bare pavement?!
Walking back home, after finishing my run, I stopped to record the noisy birds. I had noticed them earlier, when I was running, chirping and cooing and trilling. Spring won’t be here for another month or two (hopefully not three!), but it’s coming. As much as I love winter running, I’m fine with that.
Sounds Like Spring
In addition to the bird sounds, this audio clip features some delightful (or irritating, depending on your perspective) crunching noises. As I was walking and listening to the sounds, I started thinking about the many different ways a path can crunch: shattering snow crystals, friction from dry snow grains rubbing against each other and/or my foot, salt or sand scratching on the pavement, the treads of my shoes loaded with little pebbles scuffing against the ground.
A few other things to note from this recording:
- For most of the audio, I’m walking on a sidewalk that has a lot of bare pavement, mixed with crusty snow and ice. Occasionally, I’m walking on just snow. I can tell that it’s warmer and that the snow will be melting soon because the sound is heavier and more muffled.
- There are lots of birds, but underneath them is a constant hum of the city–I think it’s the freeway or a highway a few miles away.
- As I continued to walk home, still recording this audio, I noticed my shadow in the snow, joining me. I almost stopped to take a picture.
Sure snow crunches but
it also sizzles and
squeaks on the sidewalk.
It amplifies and muffles
absorbs and reflects
slumbers in silence and
remains awake alert active.
Wrote a pantoum about the path for my poetry class (ah! so many pleasing p’s!)
The Soundtrack for my Run (first draft)
In the winter, above the Mississippi River Gorge
I take up an ongoing conversation
I’m having with the running path.
Mostly I listen.
I absorb with ears and feet
its voices and textures
hearing crystals cracking or feeling soft snow
settling unevenly around my ankles.
These sounds and surfaces
energize and exhaust
speaking steadily into my ear
becoming a soundtrack for my run.
The cracking crystals make me buzz, the soft snow saps my strength.
Cracking, crunching, snapping, sinking, slipping
are the soundtrack for my run
in the winter, above the Mississippi River Gorge.