“I should have known the temperature would be cooler here,” I thought as I hunched lower, pushing my way through the headwind toward the water. Lifting my head briefly, full into the wind, I could see the rise about a half mile away – that’s where I was headed. I was hoping to get to the top in time to catch the sunset to the west over the river, and the moonrise to the east, behind me. I had calculated to be there in time, having left shortly after dismissal to make my way across the water and up to my vantage point between moonrise and sunset. They were to occur within thirty minutes of each other today.
I had been been ruminating on whether to make the trip all morning, but once I committed, my anticipation grew with each passing hour. Although I had no one to accompany me, I was excited to go, nonetheless. I wanted this day to be different. After all, how often does the advent of spring and the rise of a super moon coincide? Hardly ever, as far as I could tell. I was going to do my best to honor two momentous occasions that Mother Nature was offering today.
Pressing into the bluster, I reached the base of the incline near the water’s edge, and climbed quickly to the top. The wind was considerably stronger at this altitude. Turning north, I pushed forward, the chill buffeting my layers. I went on, glancing upward at the threatening haze in the waning light.
As the temperature continued to drop and the sky grew increasingly overcast , I realized that my reason for trekking here tonight was not meant to be. The view of sunset and moonrise was slipping through my fingers as quickly as the clouds were rolling in. Even so, making the trip across the river had earmarked this day as unique. Just being here – on the High Line in Lower Manhattan – had made it a day set apart.
I paused on the path, once an abandoned railway track, now embraced by silhouettes of trees – and took in the sights around me. I was one story up, on a nearly-two-mile-long suspended, forested walkway directly above the busy streets of Manhattan. I squinted across the Hudson River at the coastline of New Jersey due west. “Home,” I thought, and probably time to make way way back there, before nightfall.
I didn’t get to see the super moon rise over Manhattan, nor did I catch the sunset over the eastern shore of New Jersey. I had hoped it would work out just so, but sometimes the best moments are completely different from those originally planned for. This was still one that will be with me for a long time. The day I crossed the river to the city, ushering in my fifty-ninth spring.
It’s a keeper.