April 27, 2011

Morning Walk

I was struck by how light it was when I got up at six this morning. This Wednesday was a bit different than  usual- our class was to convene at the Vanderbilt Mansion for a walk. I've been there on multiple occasions. I'm not fond of the house as rich, large, or old houses go but the grounds are beautiful. In summer the gardens are full or roses and fountains and archways (very romantic) and there is an open field surrounded by very tall shady trees (perfect for sleeping under) and of course there is the river-walk (and I have heard tales of a trail).

Down the descending asphalt path we began- small, meaningless chatter reverberating throughout my group of classmates. I hear someone mention Middle Earth, "Did you know they're making The Hobbit?" I remark. The girl turns and looks at me blankly (earphones in her ears) and queries, "You look like a hobbit?" Everyone giggles. She explains about the earphones. I laugh because I'm short enough that I do look a bit hobbitish- minus the feet hair.

There lay this morning over the river a great fog- we couldn't see the other side as we walked  down (just a billowing white duvet warming the sleepy river). It had rained- giant earthworms lounged on the road. At one point a dirt path lead away over a hill towards the river, "A short cut!" was the general exclamation- and the group split. A friend and I jested about the possible outcome of our choice to stay on trusty asphalt, "Is this the strait road that leads to salvation? Or the wide and easy road that leads to destruction?" We all got there ok so it was alright.

I went right up to the water. It seemed very close and intimate on account of the mist- and having gone through woods and being so far from the road. I edged out onto a rock low down and stuck my hands in the mighty Hudson. So cold. So real.

In another place there were more rocks and lots of slate stones. I gathered flat ones to my liking from tide pools. We practiced skipping. One of the guys could get his to go five or six times (the most I got was three). There was an iron ring stuck into the rock- where once Vanderbilt boats might have docked. One of the woman (a large Texan of German descent) informed me they really aught to tie me to the hook with a chain and leave me to the sea urchins (and I promptly invoked the rescue of Perseus).

As we girls clambered back up the gorge and I listened to the female small-talk, which so easily turns from subject to subject- worms, to the heat, to the rising of the mountain, to the Vanderbilts (I told what little I know of them), to what one girl called "west egg" and  "east egg" (I had no idea what she was talking about) and some movie which was made from some book which everyone reads in High School and what in the world was that- (I hit upon it) - The Great Gatsby.

I wished I could stop... I had wanted to read and write in the rose gardens... But we walked instead. The benches looked so inviting- perfect for two to sit upon and gaze out in communal, comfortable silence at the mountains and river. Maybe next time. But it was time to get going for our next class... and my pen and notebook were in the car.

So this is my memorial of the morning.


  1. Sounds like a beautiful place to visit! =D

  2. Oh, it really is. You need to come visit NY. :-)

  3. EW, WORMS.

    The rest, sounds lovely.

  4. Ah, this place sounds wonderful.

    I have little shame in admitting that I've referred to you Fiore's as "The Hobbit Family" (only endearingly, of course). :)

  5. GAH! MICHAEL! CONFIRMED! CONFIRMED! *dies laughing* "The Hobbit Family" Oh, wow. That's priceless. Thanks, Michael. ;-) :-) :-D

  6. I loved strolling with you this morning. When you write it down like this, I can join you, even several days later. :)

  7. *smiles* Thanks, Ann! I'm glad. It would have so lovely to have actually strolled with you. :)