dimarts, d’abril 19, 2005

Buen día (English / French / Spanish)

Today was the kind of day that every day of my life should be like, if I had the energy to pull it off. I got up in a timely fashion and trotted off to Brueggers, gobbling up my usual egg-sausage-and-cheese honey grain bagel sandwich and orange juice. Next I arrived at work and managed to get to be at my 8 o'clock class right on time. It was productive, in fact all three classes went well, no minor miracle when teaching at a community college. This high level of output from the students in the first two classes was due in large part to their mystification at the hands of that old devil, the Subjunctive, once in Spanish, then again in French. At the end of the day, the subjunctive in Spanish is much more interesting, a beguiling mistress, where in French it's an old whore with fancy wrags and Chanel Nº5.

After class, it was off to lunch with colleagues in the cafeteria, delightful in its simplicity and comradery. I finished my lunch, took care of some minor errands in my office then rushed home and mounted my bike rack and Avalon 7-speed on the back of my Saturn, changed my clothes and went off to the Niskayuna bike path, choosing the trailhead at the old Niskayuna train station. Here the bike path follows the Mohawk closely, and the weather was, as we say in French, ravissant. Nearly 80, sunny and dry, the blooms beginning to show color on the trees and the water foul returning to the river-cum-canal, the day could not have been more radiant for a bike ride. I journeyed eastwards past the Colonie Town border where the path is more varied with slight ondulations.

After about two and half miles the trail turns away slightly from the river and climbs serenely, gently about 90 feet in altitude, the top of the rise easily attainable in 4th gear. Along the way, you can observe at various occasions the Twin Bridges over the Mohawk, a massive crossing barely a stone's throw from the confluence of the Mohawk and the Hudson. Additionally, along this stretch of the trail, the Mohawk is once again, more or less, a real river, the barge canal having been laid in a deep trench cut through the rock half mile or so to the north. East from this stretch of the river, Mother Nature still holds the trump card. The voracious Cohoes Cataract, sometimes called the Niagara of the East, lies down river, roiling and spuming on the southern side of Peebles Island. From the top of the rise, it is exactly four miles from the parking lot at the trailhead, and the ride back is imprescindible; you can lock the bike in 7th and coast down nearly two miles. The prevailing angle favors the entire return trip however, and today with the bright sun, the blue sky, the warm, dry air on my face and the river to one side, it was really great way to pass part of the afternoon.

Next, I returned home, with just enough time to spare to get a laundry in the washer, and then hang it up to dry outside. This weather is great for clothes drying; even heavy jeans or corduroys dry in under an hour, less time than they would take in my aging dryer, and at no-cost to the environment. I whipped the clothes up on the line, and then stowed my yoga gear in the Jag and drove off to Yoga class. After the eight-mile bike ride, Yoga class seemed like kindergarten tonight. I was still flexible from my earlier exertions. I returned home and prepared supper, took care of some household tasks, and now here I am, sipping a mint julip on a very warm Spring evening, recording some last thoughts for the day before retiring to my slumber...