Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Trudge

The leaves are just about all gone, it's getting cold, (though not very cold, yet), and we're plunged into long hours of darkness, way too early in the day.

I didn't mind bearing the long New England winters so much as a kid. When you're real young, you have a million and one days to burn, and then some. Besides, you'll get to do whatever you want later, when your rich and successful. So, passing almost half your life in darkness and dead arctic temperatures doesn't seem too much of a burden. Plenty of stuff to do to pass the time. Especially during the teen years. By the late teens/early twenties I was working for real, Life and consequences had just begun to really get in my face, demanding I take notice. It was in my late twenties, when I began to feel a faint itch, a distant inkling, that there actually may be an end to the rope. By my thirties I was running to make up for lost time. That's when, simultaneously, I began to really abhor the bare cold darkness of winters, and began to really appreciate the warm, colorful, full of life, beauty of summers.

Winter can seem such a waste of precious time.

So, it's getting tougher to find beauty in the natural world, in these months. Tougher, but not impossible. It's there, but a different shade, and not as forthcoming.

Driving through Springfield today,

I did a double-take when I saw this guy, deep in the bowels of the big city. He had his eyes intently fixed down the road, waiting for a bus. He might as well have been a deer, he looked so out of place on Main St. downtown.

He might have been on a REALLY long hike, like the Appalachian or M&M. I was surprised to learn how often one takes advantage of, or is forced to, use modern transportation and amenities during those long wilderness jaunts. This book set me straight:

A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson.

A real good book, about a recreational hiker and his unlikely partner, taking on the immense distances of Appalachian Trail. Hilarious, and informative.

I dream of someday doing a REALLY long hike. I can't see myself ever having the time to do, say, the whole Appalachian Trail. It takes several months to cover that 2100 mile Maine to Georgia trek. My buddy Mike actually tried to do a Connecticut border-north section of it, and he fully committed himself, in gear and mentality. He did a commendable hike, covering I think about 60+ miles, before his ankles and baser temptations did him in. Still, it was an amazing haul for anyone in my circle of losers to pull off. I hope at best to do the M&M (100+ miles I think), and even that probably in sections. I'd be happy with that. I've done several sections of it already.

There's still plenty of rope left...I hope.

I get knocked down, but I get up again...

In case you've just gotten your computer back from the repair shop, the local Sultan of Cyberspace, Tommy Devine, has resurfaced, and in fighting trim. Check out his continuing journeys of the mind and soul, here:


Mary E.Carey said...

Love the photo of the skyscape driving into Springfield. I also started casting a cold eye on winter about 10 years ago, but I still think it's about as beautiful as it gets around here sometimes after it snows and I LOVE having a wood stove now, whereas I don't think I would have fully appreciated it when I was younger and hardier.

Tommy said...

Thanks for the plug, and Dude, I just wanted to say that after perusuing all your posts that I missed while in rehab that you are evolving into a professional level photographer. You have a natural eye for it, and that's something that can't be taught.

Your next career?

Tony said...

Wood stoves are great. We had fireplaces in two of the houses I grew up in, we always used them throughout the winters. It was very nice, some of the better winter moments for sure...I think shoveling/plowing has dampened the glory of snow a little bit for me though, it's just more work falling from the sky!

Hi Tom, glad your liking the photos...I'm sure if I got too serious about photography, you'd see the pics getting worse not better!