After a few years of not using this application for recording thoughts, I am going to give it another try.
Today I decided to take a bicycle ride to a mostly secluded area in my city where I could sit and read my Kindle. This place is maybe 1.5 miles away from my apartment and has a small pavilion next to a creek with a tiny waterfall, like 2 feet high.
It was a rather warm day, in the upper 80’s to 90’s but the pavilion granted me some shade and a there was a small breeze most of the time. Even though I peddled at a slow pace, taking my time, I was out of breath. Partly due to my being out of good shape, but mostly due to my asthma which has been increasingly getting worse this year. I sat down on the wooden bench, which was basically a tree with a flat sawed on it and sanded smooth and probably coated with polyurethane. The bench has no back rest. I began to read my kindle as two elderly folks were just over the way looking into the creek and shortly thereafter silently went on their way. So silent that I hadn’t even noticed they left.
I read for about an hour, my book about Introverts in the church. A fascinating book about an evangelical introvert in a church full of extraverts. Which is precisely the same situation I am in and often struggle to get that feeling of “fitting in”. During the read I quickly found myself uncomfortable due to not having any back rest and tried many different positions to get comfortable. The best way I could find was to sit leaning forward with my elbows on my knees, hunched over. This still afforded some discomfort but it was tolerable.
At another point a family with a couple of small children started down my way on the paved path. I saw them out of the corner of my and continued reading. They undoubtedly saw me, and for whatever reason, fear perhaps or more likely, wished for privacy – either of their own, or to respect mine, – they turned about and went back the way they came. For the spot I was in was a dead-end of the path.
After the first hour of reading, I decided to pack my kindle and bottle of water up and continue on my journey to find a nice secluded, yet comfortable place to read. While the setting with the tiny waterfall was about perfect, the lack of a proper back rest on the benches made it too uncomfortable for a long term sitting.
I found not too far away on the other side of the railroad tracks the local community college (not that it was a new discovery, I knew it was there already). I circled it once and rode out to a dirt path where there is another pavilion I knew about. I couldn’t recall if it had the same benches as the first one did. It did; in fact it had only one bench this time instead of several. I turned about and headed back to the college for as I rode past, I spotted what looked like an outdoor staff break area. It was a permanent fixture of table, chairs and umbrella right up next to the building. It overlooked the park area of the schools in that area with many trees and paths.
I set up there enjoying the back rest of the chairs and began to read some more. I spent about another hour reading in the shade and comfort of that spot. At one point I saw one of our local police officers on patrol drive by and wave. I also saw that family that avoided me pack up in their silver Dodge truck with a couple of large rust spots on the side drive by.
In all, I read about 10% of the book in both locations for a total of 20% read this afternoon.
I then headed back out toward home. I decided to take a route that would lead me past the gym where my two best friends from childhood workout. I thought if I saw either of their cars there, I would stop in and say hello since I haven’t seen them all summer. Once I arrived, I saw that the gym was closed because there were no vehicles at all in the parking lot, despite a neon sign reading ‘open’ was lit up. They probably forgot to unplug it before they left the last time.
I then made my way back home where I made lunch, took a nap and decided to write a little again – inspired by the book I am reading presently.
With that said, I am thankful to God for the beautiful day today and the opportunity to have it off of work (Labor Day) and spend it outside reading. I am really looking forward to spending a bit more time outside like that when the weather cools off just a bit more and fall begins to set in. I really love the colorful leaves on the trees and the crisp cool air of the season. I think that will be a wonderful time to spend outside reading before the cold dreary winter begins to set in.