And … exhale.
When your only recreation outside the house is walking, chilly, gloomy days make you feel cooped up, held inside the four walls.
However, when the sun comes out and the temperature is warmer, it feels like a release … like you and the world are breathing normally again.
We’ve decided to call it Walking Trail Wednesday — the day Suzi and I will try out a different part of one of the trails near where we live.
I’m sure at some point the weather or something else will keep us from going out on a Wednesday, and then we’ll have a special Thursday edition of Walking Trail Wednesday, but for now, Wednesday it is.
We picked the same trail we walked on last week, but in a different part of town. Parking was convenient, right next to the trail, and then it was just a matter of whether we turned left or right.
We went right.
It was busy, but not crowded. The nice weather clearly brought people out.
There were all kinds — walkers, people on rollerblades, a group of four girls on skateboards who were struggling to figure out their formation as we walked by, even a woman with an old-fashioned pair of roller skates.
There were cyclists, too, with the more-serious ones announcing whoever they were approaching from behind that they were passing on the left and then riding down the middle, as everyone else was on one side or the other.
There must have been some conflict along the way. We walked past a group of boys on their bikes complaining about someone telling to them wear a “f#@$ing mask” while riding, but otherwise everyone seemed cool.
There were groups of fours, fives and sixes — as we were leaving, one family was engaged in a very sophisticated operation to take four bikes off their trailer — but the trail was both long and wide, and people gave each other plenty of space.
The trail runs over, along and near a brook, and in the distance I had seen and heard people on the rocks near the sound of the water.
I figured they had climbed the fence or gotten off the trail some other way, but there was an opening in the fence and a display and map noting it was the site of an old pencil factory.
If the trail itself is a getaway from the normal surroundings, the pencil factory location is an oasis from the trail. The path isn’t paved — the people leaving as we arrived were trying to navigate their bikes over small exposed roots — but even the little bit of remove felt like a different place.
I’m still surprised they let people go there, though.
We knew the good weather was only going to last a day before gloomy conditions returned for a couple days.
What we weren’t expecting was for the gray clouds to roll in just a couple hours after we got home.
”Things got bleak real quick,” I said to Suzi, guaranteeing I’d win the award for most-obvious metaphor in the world should one be given out.
It “features some of the biggest feel-good hits from the ’60s to today to give you all the motivation you need to stay put as officials and medical experts continue to stress the importance of social distancing for slowing the spread of coronavirus.”
The station’s not perfect — Coldplay appears to be in regular rotation — but it did include a cover of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” that I wasn’t familiar with. I liked it, and given my fascination with cover songs, I was curious as to who was singing it.
I can sometimes pick out familiar voices in unfamiliar songs — yes, that was Dolly Parton on an electronic dance track the other day — but I had to find the station on the SiriusXM app because it usually runs a few minutes behind and lists the artist.
Turns out it was Kygo (never heard of him) and Whitney Houston.
It’s pretty good.
In the event this blog has seemed like a “pandemic diary” as of late, allow me to recommend Craig Calcaterra’s Pandemic Diary, which is much better at capturing everyday life under … you know … than anything I’m doing.
Also, check out Austin Hodgens‘ The Return of the Modern Philsopher. It’s a regular in my Sunday recaps, and he’s doing for runs around his home in Maine what it feels like I’m doing for walks around mine, and then some.