Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Breaking the Spell

It's late summer in upstate New York, with endless days of sunshine, temperatures in the afternoon of 85 to 90 degrees F (29 to 32 C for the rest of the world) and plenty of humidity.

My body tells me that I should walk every day, but air-conditioning feels so good, so I often delay my walk until early evening when the temperature drops. Of course, I may also be too tired, too hungry, or too lazy.

The logical alternative is to walk early in the morning, but I love getting up at six, making a pot of coffee, and reading a few of the big pile of books on the kitchen table. I feel so lucid, focused and expansive in my thinking. It's the most precious part of the day. I have thought many times of breaking off for a walk, but I would also be breaking the spell of a beloved habit.

Yesterday, I didn't walk at all, so I decided last night that I must walk this morning. I made coffee, ate a bowl of Weetabix, read a fascinating book and took off resolutely at nine. The grass was dewy, the air was soft and sweetly vegetal, and I didn't feel bored in the walk around our wooded neighborhood. But by ten, when I returned it was hot and I was sweaty. Tomorrow, I'll leave at seven. And I may even look at birds.

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