Sunday, March 22, 2015

Equinox sunset walk

Finally rousting myself from my winter sedentariness this past week, I started going for a walk in the morning before breakfast. This is not so ambitious as it probably sounds—I seldom eat breakfast before 10 a.m., and I seldom rise earlier than 8:30.

Nine-ish in the morning is really an excellent time for a walk this time of year, when the sun is fairly high and the air is warming up. The school buses have finished their rounds and the commuters have driven away and it's really pretty quiet around here.

I enjoy listening to the chatter of birds and observing the gradual greening of my neighborhood. It helps that my neighborhood borders on the Mississippi River and Minnehaha Falls.

Minnehaha Falls on March 16
But, I have arthritic knees, I'm overweight, and I'm out of practice—yes, walking is a practice, and subject to both good and bad habits, like everything else. So these walks have resulted in my knees hurting all day long, relieved only partially by the yoga I do afterwards, and the bike rides I take later on each day. They always recover by the next morning, so I figure it's a problem that will gradually get better as I continue to do it; especially as I start practicing Feldenkrais again, which I wrote about some time ago here. When I stopped my one-on-one lessons, I bought a set of CDs by Feldenkrais guru Russell Delman for practicing on my own, but until this week they sat largely untouched.

On Friday I decided I was tired of the day-long pain and skipped the morning walk. I did some yoga and had my usual bike ride of about 5 or 6 miles, with a stop at a coffee shop, of course (because bike riding is about the journey and the destination, for me). At suppertime I was commenting about how pleasant it was to not have pain all day.

But as I sat at the supper table looking out our west-facing windows, I was totally enchanted by the beautiful colors that were playing across the western sky. And then I remembered that it was the vernal equinox. So I decided to take a walk at sunset—an old-fashioned "evening constitutional," I told my husband—reasoning that I would only have pain for the evening and be recovered as usual by morning.

Looking west on East 46th Street at 7:11 p.m., Friday, March 20, 2015

I stopped while crossing East 46th Street to admire the perfect symmetry of the equinox sunset, and then continued on to the falls to take in the beauty and watch several Somali immigrants enjoying this stunning natural feature in the midst of our urban neighborhood.

Afterwards, I did a little yoga and then had a bath, massaging my knee a bit while it was immersed in the warm water. My knees didn't feel too bad after this, and, as usual, they were just fine in the morning.

Minnehaha Falls, about 7:20 p.m., March 20, 2015
I think I'll continue with the evening walks, and make time for my Feldenkrais "awareness through movement" lessons more regularly, and eventually resume the morning walks as well.

And when I go for a walk after supper, hubby washes the dishes. Maybe I should start doing the cooking more often.

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