22 March 2020

22 03 2020

img_9403I walked this morning at the Verkade section of Harkness State Park in Waterford, a parcel donated by the family of a late high school classmate. It’s desolate, open and brown, with no signs of Spring and my spirits are sagging. I plod along, hugging the perimeter. I reach the bend where the path veers to the right to continue around the open area and I see a person coming through the woods that border this area. It’s Dennis, friend of my usual walking friend Julie. He and I chat – from a distance: I definitely would not be able to rescue him if he had been drowning. He’s familiar with the path that loops through the woods, which I follow as we part in opposite directions.


My step is lighter. I text Julie to share my exchange with Dennis. The trees resonate with the chirp of cardinals, the drumming of woodpeckers. I unsuccessfully check a small pond for amphibian eggs. Back into the open area, I continue the loop back towards my car. The sun is strong, I unzip my coat, and then my first sweatshirt and ultimately my second. I figure out how to cross the downed tree across the path, which I now think may have been used by Dennis, so I should protect myself from contact.


Having accomplished that, I look up and spot a pussy willow tree. A huge tree reaching the sky, loaded with buds.

I wonder why I feel the need to write this, and I think it’s for myself. I live alone, with not even a pet at this point. Up until now, I’ve had some walking companions. We’ve kept a reasonable distance, but I’ve noticed I could smell the coffee or toothpaste on their breath as we talked. Which means we are not far enough apart. And now maybe even arms’ length isn’t enough. Who knows.

So, I leave my clothes that had touched the downed tree in my car when I return home. I’ve only covered two miles. But a lot of space in my head. I think there will be a lot more of that in the months to come.