Jog on the West Orange Trail
My rhythmic two-three time breath seems the conductor
of this calming calypso. The waffle-soled shoes against
the pavement keep perfect pace, a metronome of harmonic
balance within my body. The mind resting, engaging only
to consciously enjoy the suspension of time, when thoughts
fleet in and out with ease, the world stopped for just
a moment, floating with me here on this place we simply
call "The Trail."
Time suspended. How appropriate! The West Orange Trail
is located just outside Orlando, Florida, home to the
world's largest cacophony of tourist pandemonium. Traffic
makes headlines, and Mickey memorizes. Concrete takes
on kudzu characteristics. Walt's dreamä.? But here,
on the West Orange Trail, time stops. Winding through
the rural outskirts of the nation's fastest growing
region, this modern remake of a bygone era provides
a cathartic solace to those seeking refuge from the
battering "out there." They call it "Rails to Trails,"
this West Orange pavement, taking me on a mental excursion
more adventurous than anything the theme park dream-makers
Who traveled here 100 years ago, catching the train
back up north to visit relatives? Who picked the citrus
that filled boxcars steaming past the rural landscape?
How did the fruit taste when it arrived at its wintry
destination? How did the ladies dress, what with their
parasols, residing for a time in their fancy dining
cars? The trail's history alive still, vivid in my resting
The thoughts fleet in and out -- with my breath. Time
A view of the lake -- once clean -- saddens my step
for a moment. But then a squirrel scurries past, jolting
me back to reality. A cyclist approaches. One-point-five-miles
to Winter Garden station. Check the watch. Feeling good.
Time to turn back, facing again a life outside the comfort
of The Trail.
e x t e s s a y -
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