Crap quality pictures, but you get the gist.
When the rain stopped yesterday, I walked to Inwood Park. It’s on the northernmost tip of Manhattan at the border of the Hudson. With my air conditioner off and windows open, I heard cars racing, horns beeping, and groups of people talking. I had to get out. My walk was for mental health.
It was breezy and not hot, and occasionally overcast, which made the greenery in the park stand out. The views include cliffs that border the river. On Halloween, Haunted Inwood takes place in the forest. Actors in costume lead you through the woods for ghostly tales. There are caves up there with streams of trickling water. The hike is complete with fog machines, graveyards and monsters peering from behind trees. The organization turns the nature center into a haunted house.
I sat on a bench, looking across the river. Not far from there is a view of a huge rock in The Bronx. In 1952 a Columbia University student began painting a large C on that rock. The job was finished by members of Columbia’s row team later. Columbia’s row team docks their boats at their row house near Inwood Park. The C rock is part of the legend of this area. Boys climb up the hill to the top of that rock and dive into the river over and over. Once I sat for a while and watched them from across the river.
After sitting in that one area, I walked around the bend to a large Chinese cherry tree with drooping branches enveloping a small bench like a curtain. It was perfect to keep the sun out so I sat for a while watching geese in the river a few feet away. Though the bench was perfect for lovers, that idea was an intrusion on my meditation. In the park you don’t hear city noises, only an occasional plane or the horn of the Metro North Train going through the Marble Hill Station.
I took the long way out, at the border of the cliffs around the soccer field. A group of troopers waved as they passed in a car on the way to the hills. I took a tour once with one of the troopers. I walked this way to look at the inscription on the rock marking the beginning of three different paths into the woods. The plaque says it’s where Peter Minuit bought Manhattan from Native Americans for trinkets and beads worth 60 guilders. This area was also an encampment for Hessian Soldiers during the revolutionary war.
I continued out along the edge of the soccer field, watching a man clean up after his dog on the litter free path. I had faith that he would. Minutes after I got home, it rained.