It had been more than a week since I'd taken a real walk in the park, and Ash Wednesday seemed as good a day as any to get back. Today marks the beginning of Lent, based on Christ's 40 days in the desert, where he was "among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him" (Mark 1:12). No desert for me, just the Long Meadow, where I quickly realized I'd forgotten my usual second layer of thermal woolies. Forget about 40 days; I didn't last 40 minutes.
The dogs were streaming in for their morning romp, insulated by joy against the cold. Which is the angel and which the wild beast in this meet-up?
It was a quiet morning, the brutal winds of recent days having died down; I heard crows, doves, and of course starlings, which were cackling and wolf-whistling as they ate up the grass seeds on the Long Meadow. Even without the wind it was bitterly cold, but these eager daffodil buds inside the fence gave hope.
Nearby, this accidental signage made me smile, since the berm along Prospect Park Southwest has been the site of spectacular rat sightings in the past. No rats were observed today; they were either keeping cozy or avoiding the headlines.