Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Again I have to start the day early. I watch for the first signs of light outside as I flip through pages of papers. There are strands of mist in the hills to the south of my windows. And it looks cold. And wet.

Most often I don’t leave until just before my first morning class, but today I decide to get to campus with an hour to spare.

I’m on the bike, still feeling the wetness of the receding mist. The street looks like it’s been hosed down with water. It’s cold, but on these morning rides I’m rarely cold. I’m not tired yet. It makes a difference.

Of course, this early, the light is exceptionally enchanting. I take the longer path – the one that makes its way past Eagle Heights, past the woods leading up to Picnic Point.


Picnic Point. There’s an idea. I have time.

I detour even more and take the path to the tip of the peninsula.


To me, Picnic Point has always felt just a little too city park-like. The garbage cans that line the path. The clearings with log benches. The chain fence a long a good stretch of it. But on this morning, all I can see it its simple loveliness! And I can look at the morning lake from this very different perspective.


It’s very satisfying to take a morning detour. It puts you in a good place – ready to face the relentless string of classes, student requests, papers to grade. (And to face the plummeting stock market – of special interest to me now that I own stocks. At least I think I own stocks. See previous post.)


I’ve come to understand, too, how really wonderful it is to live in a place with four seasons. I know, our fall this year has been in the category of “best ever.” Still, I watch the last of the gold on the few trees that haven’t quite let go of it and I think (I'm back on the lake shore path now) – cool! but I'm also okay with the bare limbs.


In fact, I am extremely enthusiastic about the snows that are about to come. And the ice on the lake. And then the thaw. And then -- ferns, flowers, daffodils. Yes, it’s good to be in Madison and to have a bike with a fresh tire that I’m hoping will keep on spinning.