Saturday, September 01, 2007

Hampstead Heath by John Constable (1776-1837)

I walked to and from school yesterday (about a twelve mile roundtrip), and enjoyed myself immensely. The early morning walk was especially delightful, due to the coolness of the air, the good looks of the early morning, and the peace of the streets. That time of day is nearly always a lovely time, and yesterday was no exception. I strode along in the speckled sunlight like the morning belonged to me. After working at school for a few hours and eating my lunch (which I carried from home) at my desk, I set out for the walk back home. This was a far different experience than the morning walk. The high sun was hot on my neck and the backs of my arms and legs, and the traffic was heavy and sometimes almost earsplitting. I tried my best to do some tidy thinking as I walked, but I’m afraid I didn’t have much success ignoring the heat and the constant, raucous rush of cars. When I reached Stop and Shop, I stepped inside to purchase some additional sunblock, and stayed for a while, resting and strolling along the air-conditioned aisles. The final few miles of the walk seemed cooler and quieter, somehow. Perhaps the traffic had died away a bit, and I’m sure the short rest had restored my spirits to some extent. I felt strong as I walked down the hill into Westerly and up the street to the big white house surrounded with flowers.

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