Sep 01 2010

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Morning Walk

Posted at 9:05 am under Blog Post

Early morning walk on a hot and humid day.  A short hike, actually, up the local hill.  Just enough to break a sweat, get a few bug bites, and cough out the last of a head cold.  My dog, Matika, runs ahead and sniffs around.  She’s happy to be on the trail again, if only for an hour.  So am I.  It’s been a while.

Next week I’ll be footloose on the Appalachian Trail, doing some serious trail pounding.  But for now, this’ll do.  All I need is a little down time in the woods before going to work – a chance to reconnect with the wild before immersing myself in the world of commerce.  Yeah, this’ll do.

Already reddish orange maple leaves litter the trail.  Wood asters and jewelweed are in full bloom – summer’s last hurrah.  Temps in the high 80s this week.  This comes as something of a surprise.  Not that I’m complaining.  Probably the last of the summer heat.  The warm season doesn’t last long here in the North Country.

The trail underfoot is dry.  On the west side of the hill, forest shadows abound.  On the east, bright yellow sunlight cuts through the trees.  No one out here yet.  Just me, my dog, and my thoughts.

Thoughts?  Yeah, I turn pensive in the fall.  And while the leaf season hasn’t really started yet, it’s not too early to exercise the gray matter left largely unused since last spring.  One look at wood asters triggers it.  Not sure why.

Seasons change, the years slip by, and my body gradually loses its resilience.  But not my mind.  In fact, I’m a better thinker now than I was twenty years ago.  Not as fast or sharp, yet better.  I have more to think about – more dots to connect.  The big picture is easier to see now.  Much easier.

Thoreau once wrote in his journals that thinking seems to make people sad.  I think I know why.  Because all deep thought begins with an acute realization that nothing last forever.  And most of our energies are misdirected.  If the average person fully realized how short life is, he/she would spend more time going for morning walks and less time driving in circles, trying to get things done.  That’s how it strikes me, anyhow.

No matter.  Every walk, long or short, eventually comes to an end.  I step out of the woods a little sooner than expected and unconsciously pull out my car keys.  Enough fooling around already.  It’s time to go to work.

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