Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Soul Food

I have no firsthand knowledge of just how many kernels of truth are contained in the old saw about the early bird and the worm.  I have a "no-worm" dietary policy, even when the slippery fellow in question has been basting in a tequila bath for an indeterminate amount of time prior to making my acquaintance.  Even when I was a full-time drunk - a lifetime ago - tequila was not go-to booze for me.  Candidly, other than when it is consumed in shots, tequila seems to end up in brightly-colored, cheerily-named drinks.  I am Irish.  I have zero interest in such silliness.  

Irrespective of how well the early bird fares vis-a-vis the great worm hunt, I can attest to the fact that getting out the door early in the morning to run creates the opportunity for me to see some visually spectacular images.  This weekend, while Saturday ended up being a sun-filled, warm Jersey summer day, it did not begin in an auspicious manner.  When I went for my run at sunrise Saturday morning, there was daylight but no sunrise of which to speak.  As dawn broke, the sun and the clouds were locked in a knife fight for control of the sky.  

Sunday morning's sunrise, however, served to reinforce my belief that weather has no memory.  Knowing that the Missus and I were going to go for our inaugural "northern" bike ride (over the Shark River Inlet and into, first, Avon-by-the-Sea and thereafter Bradley Beach) since we had ridden south on Saturday morning when Margaret broke in her new wheels, my running route on Sunday morning was south.  As per my custom and practice, before I headed south towards Spring Lake, I ran east on 17th Avenue to our beach, hoping to catch the sunrise.  I did and I was not disappointed by what I saw. 

17th Avenue Beach - Belmar 
June 26, 2016

I am a creature of habit and - as such - I tend to run straight along the water when I run south into Spring Lake and then return north to home through Spring Lake's downtown and, then, past Lake Como.  Sunday morning, instead of bearing due south on Ocean Avenue, I made a right turn onto South Boulevard, which is a Spring Lake street that borders Lake Como (the body of water) on its southern side.  In Lake Como, we have its companion street, North Boulevard, which performs the same function on our side of the lake. 

As I ran west on South Boulevard, with the lake to my right, two young people on their bicycles were riding east.  The young man, who was about fifteen feet ahead of his female cycling companion, was riding his bike in hands-free mode and as he pedaled past me I noticed that he had his phone raised up in front of him, preparing to take a picture.  I really did nothing more than follow the natural trajectory of his path of travel and swung my own head in a northeasterly direction in order to see what it was he was attempting to photograph.  

Lake Como at Sunrise (South Blvd. Spring Lake)
June 26, 2016

Having now seen for myself just how beautiful the sunrise looked over the lake, I bore around South Boulevard to 3rd Avenue (a slight turn to the north) because I presumed that I would have a chance to see something at least as gorgeous as I had seen moments earlier.  My presumption was correct. 

Lake Como at sunrise (taken from 3rd Avenue)
June 26, 2016

Sunday morning, I made the southern leg of my journey the inland leg.  I ran through Spring Lake's downtown district and once I reached Passaic Avenue, I turned left and headed east towards the ocean.  When I reached the intersection of Passaic and Ocean Avenues, I crossed over Ocean Avenue so that I could get up onto the Spring Lake boardwalk and then turn for home.  The early-morning sky looked pretty damn fine over Spring Lake too. 

Sun coming up over Spring Lake 
June 26, 2016

"Aloha, Keep Off Canoe!" - Spring Lake
June 26, 2016

Boardwalk & Lifeguard Stand at sunrise (Spring Lake)
June 26, 2016

Far be it from me to tell the early bird how to handle his affairs but I were him, I would lift my head up and take a look around every now and again.  A juicy worm makes for tasty eating, no doubt, but as my great-grandpa Phineas once observed, "bird cannot live by worm alone.  He needs a little food for the soul." 

A sentiment I could not have better expressed no matter how hard I tried. 


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