I've begun walking again for exercise, and I realize how good it is for my mind, and for understanding the neighborhoods around my own.
This morning, I headed South down Main, and Main Street Extension (why, BTW, isn't it just Main Street?).
I passed the South Green where Perry's Hot Food had already taken up a prime location for the lunchtime crowd.
Across the street from Middlesex Hospital's new ER, the steep bank which leads down to the little league ball field, is filled with early summer wildflowers. Most of us pull these plants out of our lawns and flower beds, but when left to thrive, they actually have a wild beauty of their own. These weeds become wildflowers. I was particularly taken with a plant that had base leaves that are similar to dandelion leaves, but a large spindly stalk topped with delicate blue flowers. These particular flowers were everywhere for a block, growing out of cracks in the sidewalk, and pushing up through gravel. But there were also wild roses, sweetpea, digitalis and other blooming vines I didn't recognize.
I stopped briefly to watch the hidden mill stream that runs between Main Street Extension and Mill Street, and headed up Mill, past Marino Crane, the Middletown Road and Rifle Club (that looks peculiarly like a zydeco dance hall from Louisiana), and past a quiet meadow that seems an anomaly on this industrial passage just blocks from the main drag.
I continued my walk past the Henry Clay Work house, wondering what he might make of the SUV's on the lawn, and the satellite dish on the roof.
At the end of Mill, there's a pedestal missing its hero.
On the corner of South Main, across from Union park, there are two vintage homes (one which belonged to a renowned Middletown pewter master), which, when viewed from the right angle, allows you to travel back in time when homes with this kind of rare beauty were the common denominators on the streets of town.