And the three men I admire most:,
The father, son, and the holy ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died…
(In case you are curious, the song from which these lines are taken is not about religion. It is about three well regarded musicians who lost their lives in a plane accident in the 60s – Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and JP Richardson.)
I had just stopped under a tree after I got on the trail at Williamsport on the C&O Canal this morning.The sun was out and a bird was singing away to glory, hidden in one of the branches. As I was looking up, searching for it, a older lady, all wrapped up in warm clothes, came walking by and wished me good morning. I gave up on the bird and started walking along with her. She seemed to be grateful for the company. She said that she usually walked a couple of miles, and she thanked me for walking with her. She said that she was over 80 years old, and at that age, two miles was a good distance. She looked fit and she was very chatty. She had come across the river from West Virginia. Apparently, her husband has big strides, and the two of them do not walk well together. So he goes in one direction while she goes in the other. She informed me about the “happenings” along that section of the canal and about the work going on at the lock. She only walked a short distance with me to the place where the woods began, and then turned back. Sweet person!I saw a homeless person on the trail today. It is the first time in many years that this has happened. The lady I had walked with had told me about him, and so I was not completely surprised. Apparently he is from the town of Williamsport. He was sitting on a branch beside the trail eating what looked like a donut. He appeared to have all his belongings on a trailer that was attached to his bicycle. He seemed to be OK. I was wondering if he was perhaps happier in his own way than some of us who have more material belongings.
I listened to an interview on the radio this morning as I was heading to the canal. The person being interviewed was a poet, and she happened to mention the line in the subject line of this posting during that interview. It was apparently uttered by her young daughter while on a drive, when their car was overtaken by another. It was a moment of Zen… Eventually, they overtook the other car when they were both stuck at a toll-booth. But it did get me thinking, not specifically about driving slow, but about driving in the wrong direction, or driving towards an destination that does not make too much sense in the big picture, or even getting distracted and focusing on the wrong destination. All of these get you to your destination later than you intended.
There was another interesting point made during the radio conversation, where the poet talked about asking some kids a simple question – can you talk about something in particular that you observed this morning? Apparently, this question stumps the kids, and it can take some time to engage them properly in conversation on this topic. This is because their senses are not totally engaged in what they are doing. They are not paying attention. Perhaps it is true for adults also….
I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away….