I was delighted to find that all the gates of Green-wood Cemetery were open this morning. And so, instead of finishing my run in Prospect Park with my usual bedraggled dash down the last two long avenues to my apartment, I veered into the cemetery to wander for a while. The hills in the cemetery are among the highest in Brooklyn, and you can see where the British troops overran the American forces in the early days of the Revolutionary War. Samuel Morse has a hill-top all to himself, and in one section, there is a series of increasingly gigantic toga-clad Roman statues gazing out towards their twin, the Statue of Liberty, in the harbor. This morning, I watched the boats move imperceptibly on the far water, and looked at the buildings of Manhattan rise out of the long scrum of Brooklyn. And so it was that I spent my entire morning in constructed landscapes of the 19th century.
Today is my dad’s birthday. As perhaps the first runner I ever knew, he has always been an inspiration, and I am quite sure I inherited his love for historical detail and lengthy outdoor endeavors. I was very grateful over the holidays to meet him on occasion in the Virginia fields — my father on his bike, me cresting some long hill.