I’m waiting for something and I know it comes soon. Even though we’re only halfway through January; I’m waiting for the ground to thaw and the sun to warm our side of the Earth. I’m waiting for the first signs of spring when red-breasted robins dance across the lawn.
I’m waiting for the sunrise to come earlier so I can go back to taking my early morning walks. I start at my front door and head down over to Old Wesley Chapel Road, and then up the hill and through this side of the mountain over to Grandview. This is the street my daughter likes most by me. She likes the big houses with the lake behind it. And well, I guess the fact that my daughter likes it makes me like this street a little more too.
Anyways . . .
Down Grandview, I cross over Spook Rock and continue passed a few more blocks with names I’ve yet to remember on dead end streets with wide cul-de-sac that allow me the perfect sweep to walk in on one side of the block and back on the other, leading me back to Grandview as an extra extension to my walk and right over towards Haverstraw.
And me, I’m dressed warmly to create a good sweat. It may not sound appetizing but I sweat to purge the toxins and drink water to replenish—sort of like an “Out with the old and in with the new,” kind of thing.
The streets around here are lined on either side with tall trees and they run through hills with chunks of mountain poking out from the side in a few spots. The deer are somehow unafraid of me. They never run when I pass. Instead, they perk up; ears pointing upwards and tail swinging behind them. They look at me—somewhat intensely, but only for a second. Then they return to grazing on the lawn or whatever it is deer do in the early morning.
Overhead, the red-tailed hawk flies by; wings stretched and motionless, soaring around in large circles, hovering high above the world and looking down on us all. I see this hawk all the time. I view him from my walk down quiet roads and this hawk seems fitting to me.
He works a big circle of land, flying by, but never flaps his wings. Instead, the hawk glides. He glides over Haverstraw Road and from the Cobus Mountain behind it, over to Horse Stable, Catamount, and to Panther Mountain; works his way back over my place at Spook Rock Rd and then the hawk makes his circle again. I love that hawk. Sometimes he flies low enough to get a good look at me. And yes, I say hello to him.
My morning walk is a big circle. Once on Haverstraw, I pass a small street called Old Rte. 202 and continue farther down until I come to where Lime-Kiln Road is; I head back up Spook Rock and passed The Antrim Playhouse.
Who would have ever thought that in my little spot in the mountains, they would have an amateur playhouse?
My wife always tells me, “You should really speak to them.” And I smile at her because she knows where my heart is. I pass the playhouse on my morning walk and this means my walk is nearly over. But not yet
On my last stretch, I turn left onto Joy Road, up the hill, and then I turn left on Tranquility. Tranquility is shaped like a big horseshoe, so as I walk slightly up hill and to the left, I came back up to finish the walk on the right side, which goes up a much steeper hill.
Mind you, I am dressed warmly. I have layers on. I have a hood pulled up over my head—most times, I have two hooded sweatshirts over a thermal and a tight dry-wick, long sleeved shirt to pull the sweat from my body.
As I walk along, I think a lot. I listen to the headphones that wire to my ears. I listen to some of the old poets. I listen to Kerouac, and Burroughs. I listen to Jim Carroll as well, and sometimes, to get the inspiration going, I’ll pipe music to my ears, which is enough to help me feel lost in my scenery.
Once I complete the hill on Tranquility and come back to Joy Rd. I stand and look outward. The view from here is straight ahead to the local mountains. It’s a good view for sure.
Finally, I take off my hoods and open up a bit. I remove the towel I have stuffed around my collar and the wind from the mountains cools me off. When I head down Joy Road, back on to Spook Rock, I head home. On the way, I pass by the Pond behind Wesley Chapel. I stop here. I look out at the water. I watch the ducks move around and the swans as well. I take a deep breath, and then I head home.
Each step I take on this walk has a purpose. At the end of it, I have walked nearly 5 miles and I do this on a daily basis. According to the fit-bit gods (that’s a watch for you non-technology folks) it says it takes me around 2,000 steps to walk one mile.
This means before the morning is through, I have nearly walked 10,000 steps. And again, I say, each step has its own individual purpose. I step hard and I step fast with conviction—each time and each for a different reason. More like a stomp than a step, I stomp out my aggression; I stomp out my resentments and insecurities. I purge myself.
This is how I cleanse my system. This is also how I lost nearly 60lbs. This is how I dropped my blood pressure to a healthier rate. Wholeheartedly, along with eating better, living better helped cure a lot of my emotional ill. So for now, I’m waiting for this time of year to return.
This does not mean I don’t like the winter because I do. I like every season by me because each one gives my home a different feel. I love the fall because the trees in the mountains switch color and the different shades of orange and yellow look pretty spectacular from my back porch. But soon enough, springtime will be here. I’ll see my friends again, the red-breasted robins that follow me when I ride my mower to cut the lawn, and my friend the red-tailed hawk, the deer and all that accompany me on my walk will be there too. At least, I hope so. I sort of depend on them. I certainly depend on this walk.
The adult life is a busy one. And I tend to forget to pay attention to the important things. I lose sight of what I need to do sometimes. I work a lot. Then I have my commitments (like this one with you) and I have phone calls to make, people to speak with and assignments to give; as well, I have work to do on myself, improvements need to be made, and so I have to take the time to do this. I have meetings I go to, which I enjoy, but the day ends quickly and weekends fly by.
I know someone that has something called “No Phone Sundays” which means he spends time with his family and that’s it. No phone, no outside interruptions, no technology, nothing but family time.
I think I like that idea . . .
It’s morning. This is the view from my loft: the sky is somewhat gray and the old cemetery next to Wesley Chapel looks quiet and the wet brown leaves on the ground are scattered across the graveyard. Maybe when the weather warms up a bit and the ground dries; I’ll take my leaf blower and clear the leaves from the headstones.
There’s a lot of history up by me, folks. And as I see it, if I continue and learn to pull off my trick there’ll be a lot of future too.