Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Wordsworth morning.

I WANDERED lonely as a cloud          
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,          
When all at once I saw a crowd,          
A host, of golden daffodils;          
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,          
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.  
Continuous as the stars that shine          
And twinkle on the milky way,           
They stretched in never-ending line          
Along the margin of a bay:                                          
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,          
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.           

The waves beside them danced; but they           
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:          
A poet could not but be gay,          
In such a jocund company:          
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought          
What wealth the show to me had brought:      
For oft, when on my couch I lie          
In vacant or in pensive mood,                                      
They flash upon that inward eye          
Which is the bliss of solitude;          
And then my heart with pleasure fills,          
And dances with the daffodils.     
Long ago and faraway in some ivied cloister, I read that William Wordsworth walked in his lifetime 175,000 miles. Given that he died at 80, that means he walked roughly 6.5 miles a day every day for 75 years.

Of late, a middling to large amount of adipose has taken residence within my jeans, so I decided about two months ago to do something about getting rid of that excess avoirdupois. This morning, I walked four miles to work.

Walking in the city is really walking through many cities.

There are the school kids on the far east of the Upper East Side.

The young strivers running toward buses, subways and cabs eagerly on their way to their striving young jobs.

There’s the Park Avenue contingent, with handsome suits and Wall Street Journals underneath their arms.

In Central Park, a sea of spandex and sweat appears. A different kind of hurry.

Then onto the West Side where side-by-side giant high schools, Martin Luther King and LaGuardia draw hundreds of slouching teens who will soon be slouching at their slouching desks.

I saw no fields of golden daffodils.
Instead yellow cabs.

But I am here.

Four miles happier than before.

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