Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lincoln Park

Running and Reading

This Summer has been one of the dryest in my memory.  But running along the path in Lincoln Park early this morning once again I encountered puddles of water left standing; remains of the rain on Friday that belie the dryness of the path and park.  
The ground is apparently made of earth that is slow to absorb the rain water, for this is a common occurrence in the aftermath of even fairly light rain showers.  
Once again I had company during my run, as it starts as the sun is just below the horizon, for the morning star, Venus, was bright in the southeastern sky as it has been for several months.  Both Venus and Jupiter rise well before the sun in the morning sky all through September. People around the world have been watching these worlds and marveling at their brightness in the morning sky ever since late June and early July 2012.  Venus reached greatest brilliancy around mid-July 2012, but it is still very bright – always the brightest object in Earth’s sky besides the sun and moon. And Jupiter will be brightening – and rising earlier each night – throughout September. Before long, Jupiter will have shifted over into the evening sky.  By early December, when Earth will pass between Jupiter and the sun, this bold planet will shine in our sky all night long.  I will have to try some evening runs, but I may be able to see Mars and Saturn also, although it is difficult with the city lights. Earlier this summer Mars was visible in the morning--a real treat.
There are a few things I enjoy more than my time in the park on Sunday mornings, the best of which is reading.  So I will close with a quote from Proust, for whom reading was also one of his greatest pleasures.
"There are no days of my childhood which I lived so fully perhaps as those I thought I had left behind without living them, those I spent with a favorite book. . . so sweet is the memory it engraved in me (and so much more precious in my present estimation than what I then read so lovingly) that if still, today, I chance to leaf through these books from the past, it is simply as the only calendars I have preserved of those bygone days, and in the hope of finding reflected in their pages the houses and the ponds which no longer exist." (p 49, Days of Reading)

Days of Reading by Marcel Proust.  Penguin Books, 2008

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