Most mornings I walk five miles, covering the same route each day. I walk to maintain my health, to ground myself in the discipline of a daily routine, and to learn to know the place where I live. Observing gradual changes on a daily basis affords me a more intimate knowledge of my town, or at least a portion of it, than I could obtain any other way.

Because I walk early, usually before sunrise, I don’t see many other people. There is the occasional car, and the occasional dog-walker or runner, or courier delivering newspapers, but most of the fleeting companions I have come to watch for on my ...


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