Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Middlesex Greenway: A Little Thunder Road, a Little Ave Maria

 Yesterday, while our younger son attended a preseason soccer camp at St. Joe's High School, I walked the Middlesex Greenway, a two-year-old new ribbon of paved walkway that runs 3.5 miles from Metuchen to Woodbridge. This is one of the prettiest vistas I found along the trail.

I live, after all, in central New Jersey, one of the most densely populated places in the nation. The trail runs along old Conrail train line and offers a view of industrialized New Jersey, along with the sound of rumbling traffic, construction cranes and so on.The Middlesex Greenway is part of a movement in the United States that began in the 1960s in the Midwest called "Rails to Trails." The idea is to convert abandoned rail lines into public walking trails.
 For every view like this:
There were views like this. 

The trail even passes over US Highway One, a route I have driven dozens if not hundreds of time on my way to big-box stores or the Garden State Parkway. I passed maybe a half dozen people each length of the trail, including a middle-aged cyclist with sleeves of colorful tattoos, a young teen huffing his way to Little League practice.

As I walked, I listened to the music I downloaded on my itunes account, which includes Counting Crow's Accidentally in Love from my Power Workout album to Ave Maria sung by the Daughters of St. Mary. 

Nothing has reminded me more of how reality - the dragonflies and the shattered beer bottles along an old rail path -  is imbedded with the Beauty of the One who made us than hearing nuns chant the Hail Mary followed immediately by Bruce Springsteen's harmonica at the start of Thunder Road. 

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