Tuesday, November 1, 2016

An Open Letter to the Cayuga Waterfront Trail

Dear Cayuga Waterfront Trail,

Hey! What’s up? I know we just saw each other yesterday and I’ll probably see you later today too with Ginger and Lotti, but I find myself awake at 5:30 in the morning and you’re on my mind.

Weird, right? That I would be thinking about a trail while having my morning coffee and working on the crossword puzzle? Yet…

I feel like I need to tell you something. We’ve known each other for, what, four years now? I can still remember the first time I saw you. I was living way out at the far end of Snyder Hill Road and I was tired of always having to run on hills. I was just looking for a flat place to run. I didn’t intend to fall in love.

But that is exactly what happened. I’m sorry to surprise you like this, using the word “love” and all, but I can’t hide my feelings any longer. Cayuga Waterfront Trail, I love you.

I’ve never felt this way about a trail before. If it’s a shock to you, well, it caught me by surprise too. I’m not really sure what to do with this feeling. I mean, I know it’s crazy to love a trail. I know you can’t return the feeling. You’re a trail for crisesakes--you can’t be exclusive.

And I know in my heart of hearts I don’t really want to keep you just to myself. I mean, part of what makes you so great is how open and accepting you are of everyone. Bikers, runners, dog walkers, skateboarders, people in wheelchairs, racewalkers, families with kids on trikes---you’re there for everyone and I wouldn’t have you change.

Now that I’ve spilled the beans I feel a little self-conscious. But I’ve also now got nothing to lose. I hope you’re still reading this and haven’t tossed it to the trash. I was telling a friend about you the other day—I talk about you A LOT—and he wanted to know what was so great about you. So I started to tell him about how you change so much from season to season and day to day and even hour to hour. But at the same time you are always there for me.

And I told him about how being close to water makes me feel better, no matter what. Even if I was already feeling good to start with.

But then I stopped talking and took him for a run through Cass Park and over the foot bridge and past the boathouses and the Farmer’s Market and over to Stewart Park and then back. He saw what I meant. We must have seen 40 people while we were walking and all of them were happy just to be near you.

I love the way you make me feel, but I can’t keep that just to myself.  It’s clear you make other people feel that same way.  Cayuga Waterfront Trail, I just want to thank you for being you and to let you know I love you.


Chris Dawson