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Learning to Walk

August 14, 2022

Getting ready, August 13, 2022

It was a glorious day for walking just over 8 miles in and around Central Park. I realized something: while part of my goal for this sabbatical/pilgrimage is to unplug, it is also a wonderful opportunity to listen to podcasts and books I haven’t had time for, and I can find a balance. Today I listened to two podcasts for about half the time I walked, and listened to the Park and my own thoughts for the other half.

I started my walk listening to the Pray As You Go daily devotional. I haven’t listened to it in a very long time, but it will be a wonderful way to start each day’s walk on the pilgrimage. The daily practice is based in Ignatian Spirituality and is produced by British Jesuits. I love it, and am glad I rediscovered the app on my phone. Perhaps you could join me in this daily practice? If you go for a walk each day, it’s a great way to fit a devotion into a busy schedule. Just look for “Pray as You Go” in the App Store.

Here’s something else I discovered for New Yorkers (who may already know this) and visitors: avoid the Discovery Center toilets at the northern end of the Park at all costs, but the ones at the Conservatory Gardens are relatively clean. Other Central Park bathroom stops (because, hey, it can be critical information): the tennis court toilets north of the Reservoir are never crowded, the bathrooms by the Delacorte Theater don’t usually have too long of a line, if any; if you stop for lunch at the Le Pain Quotidien by the Sheep Meadow, try not to need the facilities—the line was way too long. Too bad they don’t have their own toilets for customers. Then there’s Hecksher Playground, and the Conservatory Water (also known as the Model Boat Pond), but at that point I’m only a couple blocks from home. There you have it. A guide to Central Park toilets. Oh, there’s one at the Great Hill, but I can never find the Great Hill. I’ve only been there once for a picnic with friends. I know the Park really well from the reservoir south, but have spent very little time above the reservoir. I walked through another part of the north woods today, but ended up on the exact same path past the waterfall and big arch that I ambled along yesterday.

Tomorrow I still plan to get up early and walk with a loaded pack for an hour before church. I feel good about the eight miles today. It’s a really good walk, but I need to be able to do twice that on most days. With my pack.

Pretty sure this is an intentional butterfly garden.
Yeah. It was a glorious day.
Love these dancing women in the Conservatory Garden. The southern garden with the Secret Garden statue was closed.
One could get lost in that blue.
From the bench where I stopped to eat my snack and took my shoes and socks off to let my feet breathe and cool off. Experienced pilgrims advise doing this every time you stop to help prevent blisters. I’m on board with that. I did however leave my shoes on when I stopped at LPQ for lunch.

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One Comment
  1. Mariam permalink

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures, and the guide to the Central Park bathrooms. But don’t forget the facilities alongside the outdoor eating area of Tavern on the Green. I think their contract with the Central Park Conservancy insists that these restrooms remain public. They are well-maintained, and, for whatever reason, I’ve never seen a line. Convenient to the Heckscher ball fields and the Sheep Meadow from the West Side.

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