2 trails, longer version*
*the longer version = paved river road trail, south/take the paved trail down to the overlook in the 44th street parking lot/Winchell Trail, north — past the 38th street steps, through the oak savanna, down the dirt hill studded with rocks in the ravine, up the gravel/ return to the paved river road trail, north, through the tunnel of trees, past the old stone steps/cross the river road to edmund at 33rd, go south on edmund
Is summer finally here? Warm and sunny this morning. Most of the time, I ran in the shade. I may not like how the leaves conceal my view of the other side of the gorge, but I appreciate how they make it cooler and shield me from the sun. A good run, no big revelations or moments of delight. Thought about the class I’m prepping and how grateful I am for the practice I developed of getting outside, moving, then writing about it. I started it partly as a way to survive the new administration in 2016, then relied on it a lot during the early years of the pandemic. Now, it’s central to my work on care and wonder. These thoughts, while I ran, came in flashes or bursts or flares — which word do I like best?
10 Things I Noticed
- the river! It was a beautiful blue. I didn’t stare straight at it, but noticed it off to the side, looking extra blue because of the sun and the green that framed it. No details to add, like sparkling waves or fast moving currents or big branches floating downstream. Just blue. As I ran, I felt the constant, pleasant presence of blue.
- running in the 36th street parking lot, past the entrance to the Winchell Trail, I heard a strange horn-like sound. It was LOUD — what was it? Then I saw a very little kid on a bike, no adult that I could see (which doesn’t mean they weren’t there; I often don’t see people who are there). They called out, “daddy?” a few times. I wondered if I should stop to see if they were okay, but their “daddy” didn’t sound urgen or scared so I kept going
- 4 people gathered on the walking trail, sort of, but not quite, off to the side
- a few kids crossing the river road just past the gathered group
- encountering several bikes, staying in their same, still seeming too close
- a squirrel standing still, which I initially mistook for a cardinal (because, yes, my vision is that bad)
- a person, or 2 people?, stretched out on one of the many benches resting right above the river — not the bench by the big old rock or near folwell, but near the old stone steps
- water trickling out of the sewer pipes
- update on #1: passing through the oak savanna at the end of my run, I encountered “daddy,” the kid, and the source of the loud horn: an extra loud bike horn. The dad blasted it for his kid’s amusement right before I reached them. He was on a fat tire, the kid on one of those training bikes without pedals — what are those called?
- the smell of chemicals for a lawn, or water from a hose
No clicks or clacks from a roller skier’s poles, no doppler effect from a radio, no chirping robins or screeching blue jays, no rowers, and, again, no memory of what happened while I ran through the tunnel of trees. Forgetting this stretch of 3 or 4 minutes has happened twice now. Interesting….
Five Landscapes/ COLE SWENSEN
Green moves through the tops of trees and grows
lighter greens as it recedes, each of which includes a grey, and among the
greys, or beyond them, waning finely into white, there is one white spot,
absolute; it could be an egret or perhaps a crane at the edge of the water
where it meets a strip of sand.
There is a single, almost dazzling white spot of a white house out loud
against the fields, and the forest in lines
and then planes. Color,
in pieces or entire; its presence
veneers over want; in all its moving parts, it could be something else
half-hidden by trees. Conservatory, gloriette, gazebo, or bandshell,
a door ajar on the top floor.
The trees are half air. They fissure the sky; you could count the leaves, pare
defined as that which,
no matter how barely, exceeds
what the eye could grasp in a glance;
intricate woods opening out before a body of water edged
with a swatch of meadow where someone has hung a bright white sheet
out in the sun to dry.
A white bird in a green forest is a danger to itself. Stands out. Shines. Builds
up inside. Like it’s dangerous to cry while driving or to talk to strangers or to
stare at the sun and a thousand other things
we’ve always heard
people who wear white see better at night, though they gradually lose this
trait as they age.