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Location: Midwest, United States

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Roaming Around

My cycling season began in fits and starts.

March was a dreary month, the exact opposite of the same month last year, when temperatures soared into the 80’s from the get go.  Not this year.  March entered and exited with a chill.  I cycled just a few times.  My teeth chattered.

Then came April.  Then came May.  I pedaled ever more often and ever farther.  I’ve been quiet, but I haven’t sat still.  I’ve logged some 300 miles in the past two months.  It makes me happy to be out and about.

There’s nothing finer than coursing through the countryside in spring.  Oh, sure, I end up swallowing a few more bugs than usual.  The scent of fertilizer doesn't please me all that much either.  But there’s that hum in the air.  There’s that unexpected rapture when, descending into a valley filled with blossoms, I’m enthralled.  There’s the aroma of tilled soil and the exuberance of livestock.  There’s the sunshine and the breeze.

I’ve already been sunburned.  Though my blemished, alligatored skin has been insulted several hundred times too often, I still revel in the roasting.  The winter months made me hunger for the pain.

I delight in this state of things.  The sentinel geese guarding their nests.  Hell-bent sparrows worrying the hawks that fly too close to fledglings.  I thrill to see branch morph from bud to leaf.  The seed to sprout. 

* * *

I decided to ride early in the morning (though I’m not a “morning person”).  The forecast indicated that the temperature and winds would soar as the day progressed.  I wanted to do a “long” ride of some three-plus hours.  I dressed appropriately for the conditions to come.  I kinda suffered at the outset. 

And through those early miles I kept mulling the last line of a Yeats’ poem: “ cold and passionate as the dawn.”

That’s what I love about poetry.  Just a few words strung together by an artist and I find myself lost in reverie.

Yeats’ words careened inside my brain pot.  I was cold.  I certainly was.  Despite that, I was thrilled to be riding.  There was a certain passion.  I felt it.  I welcomed the day. cold and passionate as the dawn

That’s how it is in the seventh decade of life.  I wake to pain.  I wake to remembered sorrow.  It’s the passion to see a new day through that gets me out of bed.

* * *

There’s a stretch of road I frequent often.  It’s a bit out-of-the-way.  There are fields, and there are drainage swales.  It seems to be a habitat well suited for redwing blackbirds.  They marshal themselves along/atop the electric lines.   They’re a feisty bunch, those redwings.  I pedal past and they hurl invectives.  I pedal past and I think of this:

* * * 


Blogger June Calender said...

So few people get the joy of life that you get pedaling, despite cold, bugs and various pains. Thanks for the post.
And for the Monty Python bit that gave me three minutes of smiles.

Sun May 26, 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger beachsiggy said...

Good lord, you think of odd things whilst out cycling! Must be the aroma of manure inspiring you. :-)

Sun May 26, 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Apparently red winged blackbirds are polygamous and even the ladies get around as well. They are a randy bunch. When we walk around the duck pond there is a section of cattails with red winged blackbirds every few feet. We call it the red wing district:)

Glad you're still getting out and cycling. It's good for the body, the mind and the soul.

Sun May 26, 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger erin said...

how can i not be laughing after even a few seconds of that video? i think it's time to introduce my children to these movies;)

jonas, there is not one damned better thing than being physically in nature. the spirit follows. I hear you.

it is good to read you again after so long.


Mon May 27, 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thank you, June. I'm at that stage in life when I cling to whatever joy I find. Funny thing...look hard enough and there are joys aplenty (despite bad eyes and corroded hips).

Oh, Beachsiggy, I'll have you know my mind never sleeps. I entertain odd thoughts 24/7/365. I'm forever entertained.

Well..since you brought up the subject of monogamy, Deb...I'll simply mention that monogamy is rarely found in the animal kingdom. Oh, sure, we've exalted the purported "life-pairings" of swans, geese. penguins and such, but, upon further examination, there's quite a bit o' hanky-panky amongst the most devoted. Be that as it may, I'm not so much impressed/mystified by monogamy as I am by territoriality. Redwing blackbirds are extraordinarily territorial. They perch on the powerlines and guard their turf ferociously. I swear, I've been dive-bombed many a time. I kinda admire the redwings for that. They are "French-Taunters" extraordinaire.

I hear you, too, Erin. Sorry I've been so remiss in keeping track of you (I tend to get lost in my own miasmas). I'm delighted to reconnect again.

Wed May 29, 11:36:00 PM  

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