Thursday, February 06, 2014
I walked into Hoboken in the aftermath of the first storm this week, my good-grip shoes too short for the deep puddles of slush I had to slosh through at each corner – not to mention the trip down the viaduct cleared only by the footsteps of previous adventurers like me.
We live our lives taking such trips and for little gain except the experience. Sometimes, we desperately need to break with routine, to go where (as the old Star Trek theme once said) no man (or woman) has gone before.
Even though I broke little new ground in that trek, trying not to plunge too deeply into the crusted surface of white that had encased our world, I was among the few.
Arriving at the Hoboken office with wet feet mattered less than having made the trip and seen the sites I would have missed in a desperate journey by car.
We are all trapped in our own lives, and sometimes, we just need to break out for a bit, to view it all from a different angle, even if it means a bit of personal discomfort.
I took a different route back, wandering through the frozen tundra of Hoboken to the light rail station and the elevator up to the heights for the trip across to my side of the Palisades.
It was equally enlightening, each step a risky one, each footfall plunging into frigid water and unknown slippery surfaces that might twist me up or cast me down, but somehow did not.
Three days later, I thought again about walking, but the slush has turned to ice and the piles of snow resist all footfalls, and so that it would have been like climbing small mountains the whole way, risking life and limb, but without reward, needing too much attention to where each foot fell rather than to the glorious wonders that were to either side or above.
Sometimes, you have to pick the right time and place to take a risk, and wisdom is often knowing which risk is the most profitable.
I drove, and sit in my office where I can see a frozen landscape and a freezing river, and know I am warm inside, and that my feet are dry.