Morning Walks in Spring

Spring is the best time of year for morning walks. Winters are cold. Summers are hot. Fall has a chill in the air and you know it is getting colder. Spring mornings sometimes have a chill in the air, too, but you know the days are warming up and that makes all the difference.

Of all the springs mornings to walk on, I especially like those mornings that are clear and sunny. This morning I woke up, took a look out the window, and could see blue sky. The sun hadn’t come up yet, but there were hints of it in the east. My thoughts immediately turned to talking my morning walk. Even on colder mornings (It’s in the 40s as I write this) there is something about walking with my face pointed toward the sun that is rejuvenating. It makes me feel warm even though the air is cold.

A snapshot of this morning's walk.
A snapshot of this morning’s walk

There are a lot of people out in my area early in the morning. Some of them are walking. Some of them are running. There are bikers and dog-walkers. Sometimes I see someone doing yoga or mediating out on the big field of the park that I pass through. Some people raise a hand in hello. Others nod, or say a muffled, “Good morning,” through their mask. (The walkers, I note, tend to wear masks; the runners and bikers often do not.) I’m a smiler, but it is hard to convey a smile with a mask on. So I’ll nod or say good morning.

The park, just after sunrise.
The park, just after sunrise.

The hellos and good mornings are much more subdued in this area than they are when I take my mornings walks in Florida or in Maine. People there speak clearly, and are easily heard. “Good morning!” as opposed to a begrudging “‘Morning” in this area. In Maine everyone waves to one another. Even the people in the cars that pass by on the street. Walkers in Maine in Florida seems generally more cheerful and neighborly than those around here. I wonder if it is because many of the people in Maine and Florida are either on vacation or retired?

I encounter plenty of wild life on my morning walks, and look forward to it. In the spring, especially, I feel a little sad on those mornings when I don’t see ducks in the stream. Sometimes I’ll catch a few deer at their breakfast. Other times, I’ll run into our neighborhood fox. There are all kinds of birds. Often I can hear the rat-tat-tat of a woodpecker or two. Occasionally, I even spot one.

One of my ducks, bathing in the stream.
One of my ducks, bathing in the stream this morning

Halfway through my walk is a 7-Eleven where I buy an orange juice. It is my turnaround point. I return to the bike path from the 7-Eleven, shaking my juice, and then open it up once I am back on the trail. I take my time drinking it. Before the next break in the trail, where a street passes through, there is a recycling bin. I try to time finishing my juice just as I pass the bin so I can toss the empty bottle in.

I always listen to an audio book on my walk. Lately, I’ve been listening to books on the history of computing, and because I have a strange memory, I always remember where I was when I read a book. So thinking of my morning walks these days reminds me of these books. And since I enjoy the books, it adds to the delight of these morning walk.

These morning walks help wake me up. On my way back, I usually begin to think about the work I have ahead of my, planning it out in the back of my mind. I try to resist this, but it inevitably creeps in. I’m okay with that. I means when I get home, I know what I need to do and can started without any preliminaries.

Instead, I sit down and the keyboard, and as I begin to work, I also begin to daydream about tomorrow morning’s walk.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

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