Friday, December 2, 2011

The trail: where it begins, ends and turns

I’ve been using the bike trail behind work for about 1 ½ years now, in winter for cross country skiing (to get to the bird sanctuary), and spring-autumn as a bike trail. I’ve been using the other end of the trail, in Northampton, for several years as it runs 2 blocks behind our house.

I spy mushrooms, birds, reptiles. I talk with passersby, their dogs, myself. I stop to read one of my many library books, to watch the 1:40 Vermonter speed of to New York City, to breath in the peacefulness the fresh air can offer me. When I’m here I learn more about myself, find amazement in the treasures that pop up in front of me, and just plain old decompress from the other pieces of my life that sometimes feel like they’re piling up. Those pieces are put into perspective here.

Where does a trail end, where does it begin? I have yet to discover the answer to either of these questions. I feel like it would be a sad place to be, realizing you’re being forced to turn around and not being able to decide where is the ‘right’ place for you to return home. Rather than relying on the church bell chimes on the half hour, a sudden rain storm, or physical fatigue.

What would the end look like? A barrier with diagonal lines warning you to go no further? A road with no crosswalk to the other side? The backside of a gas station? For now I’m content with using my lunch hour to go as far as I can within those constraints. To stop at my usual haunt, break out a sandwich and water, a book or my journal, if I remember to bring it. Then snap some pictures of what’s around me, and how the surroundings have continued to merge from one day to the next, one season to another.

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