After Sandy left, I keep forgeting that we are still in autumn because the temperature these days rarely gets to mid 60's let alone to high 60's. This time last year I was still wearing light jacket with short sleeves shirt underneath. Last year, in mid November Rohana and I merayap all over the city with only long sleeve Road Runner running shirt on our backs, and I didn't wear hat at all.
Now, everytime I go out I am in long winter boots, winter jacket and a hat!!!. And the winter is not even here yet.
I went out for a walk a day after Sandy left. It was 8:15 a.m and my neighborhood was so quiet that I never thought this place would this quiet before. Although I live not far from the beach, but I am grateful that no serious damges that I could see with my naked eyes as I stood outside the building. The only visible sign that I knew was broken twigs on the ground and a few fallen branches which the custodians were already started to clear them away.
As NYC and New Jersey were hit hard by Sandy and they are still cleaning up the mess, I am grateful that Massachusetts, except for power outage throughout Northeast which was restored mostly by Wenensday, Boston was spared from the devastation.
It is out of whack when you get up one morning, look outside your window, than look at your calendar, walk up to the window again and look outside your window and you saw 95% of the leaves on the trees outside your window are still green.
This time last year, Boston was already smacked with six snowstorms. I found this photo I took when I went out for a walk at Boston Garden after the snow storm sometimes in the first week of February last year.
This afternoon I went out running with only two layers of wicking running shirts. No hat, not gloves. I felt weird running in February without layers of shirts, gloves and hat, and yet there is not much to be considered unusual anymore. Nevertheless, I'm grateful that I still can go out riding my bicycle and run and enjoy warm temperature this winter.
I short stopped into the end of fourth mile to watch flock of geese making an incredible move a few feet above the water. Actually it wasn't really a move. The birds remained static for a few seconds before they flipped their wings again and flew higher. It was as I clicked PAUSE button. I was mesmerized.
It took me less than 10 seconds to change my mind about going to the gym. The bright blues sky, crispy and fresh air changed my plan for the day. I went for a walk instead. It was almost noon when I got off the subsway. I find that a day after a snowstorm is one of the finest times to go for a walk.I've been making an effort putting together the workout plan for my next 10K race, but I think I have to add another notch to keep it going. It seemed today the notch had to stay put.The rare beauty outside was too much to let it go.
30 yards on the walking path from the subway station, a little friend stopped in front of me. While I took out my camera and aimed at it, the squirrel stood on its hind legs and looked up at me. I wish I had some crackers to feed it. Made a mental note to carry a packet of crackers next time.
The snowman needs his left glove.
I Very little snow left on this tree.
I seldom use the word breathtaking, but I stood for a long time looking at the sky feeling grateful and content.
Fall is like an onion. Layers and layers of its beauty and surprises hidden behind the ever changing color leaves, the twigs on the ground that snapped under my feet, the branches curled like number nine or commas. Once, while I was running along Charles River, I came across a very, very angry looking beast- my childhood imaginary monster that hidden under grandmother kitchen stairs. But as I got closer the monster turned out to be willow tree roots that grow overlaped onto each other.
I've wanted to go hiking to Blue Hill Reservation since the beginning of spring, but there were always something else that was more important or more interesting to do than hiking. Di and I used to work together at the men's inpatient treatment of substance abuse recovery facility in the city. Di left the agency a couple of months after I left.
Now she is a Case Coordinator at a detox center in Dorchester. Her days off are in the middle of the week. Since I am available on her off days, we went hiking on Wednesday. She was aware of the fasting month but I reminded her that I didn't mind at all if she wanted to bring along her lunch and bottle water. She said what is a few hours withou food and water compare to being with good friend? Bless that woman. She was in air force for 20 years and later she joined Sisters of St. Joseph for four years. Last year she left SSJ. It's not for me, Siti, she said. For three and a half years she went out her way to make things work for her and for the people who share the living space with her. But she said, sharing a space 24/7 with a group of bitter, angry and stiff elderly nuns drained and exhausted her.
Like me, working full time at men's inpatient treatment facility when half of the residents have a serious mental illness is already a big test for our patience, empathy and compassion and most of all for our sanity.
We started from Houghton Pond where Di parked her truck.
The sun was already up half-way on the sky, but I didn't feel the heat at all. And the past three days the temperature was more like middle of spring instead of summer. Sunny and breezy.
The beach wasn't deserted at all like I thought earlier. About a dozen or so of beach lovers were already on the beach.
We passed a spot where it used to be a small pond where the water lilies covered the surface of the pond. But, now there was no hint of water, not even a small puddle. Wilted and dried water lilies piled up at one corner, but a few of them survived the heat we had back in June and July. One of them was even blooming.
Both of us agreed to take the less challenge trail, no complicated climbing or anything like that. Di has been to the trail many times on her mountain bike, taking the less traveled trail and less challenge trail. We followed the green dot, a round metal that nailed to the tree as a guide.
The cooler temperature made the hiking pleasant. We stopped a few times to look for Mr. or Mrs. Woodwoodpecker when we heard the drilling sound, tat,tat,tat,tat,tat,tat.....drumming the trees, probably sapping or looking for insect. We didn't see any, but we continuosly heard the drilling.
When we left the edge of hilly side and entered the open space, we passed a small lake scattered with water lilies. The sun was already high on the head, we strolled along the lake drinking the beauty and the serenity of the place. We sat on a smooth rock and started to count the water lilies. It was obvious we would be staying for another hour if we planned to total up the flowers. By the time we hit 268, we gave up and continued to walk again. Di expressed her joy of this hiking because both of us minimized the chat and enjoyed the scenery instead. I agreed with her. When one of us stopped, the other would stop too without asking anything. I guess when we are in great company we know it.
Since mid Spring this year I've been stopping at Home Depot Garden Center to look at the plants and varieties of small trees. Every week they bring in the new plants. It is amazing how much joy one could experience by just exploring each row of the garden center.