At Twilight

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Location: Midwest, United States

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Ruminations at 90 RPM

I mentioned before, in earlier blog entries, that this year has been more than a bit trying.  Downright rough, actually.

I felt I never got in sync. 

The interminable winter left me in a depressed daze.  I wanted nothing more than to saddle up and begin my cycling season.  I waited and waited.  Weather conditions were such that I did not ride in March.  I pedaled a day or three in April.  I started rolling in May.  Slowly at first, but quickly ramping towards 100-mile weeks.  But I paid a price for that.  Farmers, too, had held off working during the miserable spring.  They came out in force in May.  I choked on dust, fertilizer and pesticides.  My sinuses became insanely clogged with “farm stuff.”  I was beyond miserable.

Still, I kept cycling.  I knew I had to ride if I were to leave the Black Dog in the dust.  I wheezed and wailed through hundreds of miles in June and July.  By August I was feeling human again.  Felt kinda good, actually.

I was eager for adventure.  Eager to embrace life again.  Drove to Canada to experience all that.  Crashed.  Smashed my face and scrambled my brain.  My September was a total loss.

Then came October.

I couldn’t wait to saddle up again.  Because, you see, October is pure magic.  First and foremost, there’s the Light.  I’ve not the art to describe it.  All is luminous.  Nature luxuriates in an ineffable glow.  The Sun, low on the horizon, brings forth everything in bas-relief.  The world around me shimmers and glows. 

Trees surrounding me vie for attention.  The modest sorts offer amber hues and rich earth tones.  The extroverted blaze in brilliant vermilions, crimsons and dazzling scarlets. So much so, the beauty of it all leaves me breathless at times. 

In past seasons, I would have had the strength to pedal for many hours and miles on end.  Not this year.  The bike crash left me considerably weakened.  It saddens me to contemplate the rapidity with which muscles decline with age.  Even so, and despite all that, I could still inhale the beauty (if only for an hour or two at a time).

But there’s so much more to the season than the luminous, as spectacular as it is.  There are Life forces at work.  The sky is filled with hawks and vultures.  The hawks search for the field mice that flee the fields as harvesters rumble through.  The vultures?  Well, this time of year constitutes an all-you-can-eat buffet.  It saddens me to report this, but autumn is road kill season.  My sojourns take me past numerous raccoons, opossums and skunks that met their end on dark nights while earnestly foraging in preparation for winter.  

It’s very much a yin yang thing. 

I contemplate all this as I pedal along at 90 RPM (my standard pedal cadence...90 revolutions per minute). 

Leaves drift across my path.  Hollow corn stalks rattle in the wind.  That’s surrealism for you.  I veer between states of awe and melancholy.

I ride as best I can, for as long as I can.

Contemplating, all the while, the meaning of Life.

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