Friday, May 10, 2013

28 Days: My Saunter Continues - 125th Street to 42nd Street

Continuing my walk around the perimeter of Manhattan on the Hudson River side, today I walked from 125th Street to 42nd Street, heading out at 7am to walk as long and as far as possible in the cool air.  Then, at 11am, the 79 degree temperatures have me limping from the open path and in to the shade.

While the stretch of path between 207th Street and 125th Street is mostly dirt trail with bits of paved area and is nestled close to the river and away from traffic, today's walk has me right next to the highway for the first hour, requiring extra focused effort to enjoy the beautiful day as the sun lifts higher and higher above the river.  This section is lined with cherry trees, their blooms scattered at the trunks and lifted off in to the light wind.

Creative individuals have taken sticks and made crosses that jut from between rocks all along the path.  Between the crosses and the sections where I'm walking alongside the highway, I'm reminded of certain days on my walk on the Camino de Santiago.

The paved path path offers a small dirt trail for the first mile, a respite for my joints.  Between 125th Street and 104th Street, there are a few cyclists and runners.  At 104th Street, the parade of people increases significantly, and the traffic on the path is nearly as annoying as the traffic on the nearby highway.  Stopping to take photographs becomes a near-death experience, with racing cyclists careening by me, playing cat and mouse with other walkers and runners.  

The trail continues to be heavily used after 104th Street, and I tuck in to stay true to my own pace, and I stop to enjoy the sailboats cruising past the small dock. Passing the ship yard with its large cruise ships, the owner of a small food wagon offers me a cup of water and a piece of chocolate.  Without a word between us, I'm grateful for this blessing of one human being recognizing the frustration in another and taking the time to offer a kindness.

Today's walk was a challenge, with the noise and chaos of cars and people and required a lot of my conscious attention to divert my attention to the natural beauty surrounding me.

Always there are blessings and annoyances.  Often these exist in the same moment and it is up to me to choose my focus.  Some days this is easier than other days.  Today was a difficult one.

Still, I'm grateful for the exploration, and as I make my way back through the streets of the city, I blend in with so many other New Yorkers.  That is to say, I put on my sunglasses and insert my headphones, shutting the world out as I tuck myself in.

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