click. there goes another golf ball. i am typing from the back porch looking out on the grass, then the fairways, then the golfers, then the trees, then the clubhouse, then more trees for miles and miles, reaching up into hills that are mountains that keep going all the way to the bluewhite sky. rufus loves the wind on his face. he lets it blow as he holds his chin up proud …Mount Rufemore we call it.
I am cold. The kind of cold you get after doing a long, tough workout. I biked the Heritage Trail. Didn’t know anything about it in advance. I had seen a bunch of bikers entering the path near the pond where I run downtown. Decided to explore it all by my lonesome. I SPF’ed up and headed down there around 11 and didn’t get home til one. Lots of people around downtown. Walking dogs, having picnics, taking strolls.
The path wasn’t too crowded though. It is plenty wide, and hilly enough to be midly challenging but not a total kick in the ass. Things I passed by as I rode: cornfields brimming with corn, lakes, picturesque farm houses, a deserted factory. A deserted basketball court, complete with atrophying nets. A seemingly ancient cemetery on a hill in a remote part of the woods. Many hard core fit-freak bikers. Many, many Hasidim. Open fields galore. A run down old train on tracks that were overgrown with wild flowers. An old fashioned ice cream shop in a beautiful, semi-lifeless old town.
The ride back was faster. I was chasing the sun for a little. Clouds were spreading on the path ahead and I tried to chase the light, and I didn’t make it. It all went dark for a little and it looked even more beautiful. I was thinking of telling someone about the beauty. That’s the human impulse. It’s not enough to just be, to just take it in. I couldn’t wait to tell someone. To bring someone back with me. Or at least bring a camera. I did think about what it must have been like when Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Thoreau and all those Transcendental literary dudes like that were strolling around in this world, blown away by the beauty of it and wondering where we fit into the whole rigamarole, and writing about it.
It also made me think of a cool excerpt Jake sent along:
“Once more it is autumn, when the sunlight grows golden with the turning leaves and the air heavy with fruition and decay. Somewhere the grapes grow rich on the vine. The leaves of the red maple, whose color all summer anticipated the fall, grow tan. The golden leaves line the river bottom, setting the water aglow in the autumn sun. The forest dies and is renewed in the order of time; the sparkling river bears away grief. In the pained cherishing of that transient world, the human, the dweller between the embers and the stars, can raise it up to eternity. That is the task of humans. The moral sense of nature is that it can teach us to cherish time and to look to the eternity within it.”