Saturday, November 12, 2005

Evening Vespers Interrupted

My bicycle commute home starts shortly after 4:00 and provides me with 50 minutes of transitions: the daytime blue slides into orange and pink, clouds become bottom-heavy and the ground temps start to chill as soon as sunset hits the treetops. It’s both spiritual and sensual, and it helps me complete my inner transition at the end of my day...those 50 minutes bring me to terms with the fact that the fretful really isn’t worth fretting. It’s something neither a car ride home nor an after-work bicycle ride from the house can do for me.

Yesterday, I watched the sunlight slip away as I pounded on the work computer until 6:15. I was prepared for a long day, figured I’d be there into the evening. Facts are facts. Gotta do what needs to be done. From the wrong side of the window I watched the late-day colors transition and bounce from cloud to cloud -- they were carrying on our routine without me. My restlessness grew...maybe it was jealousy. It had been a beautiful day, rare this time of year in Minnesota, and I was disappointed to miss the near-60-degree air in my lungs on the ride home. I told myself that my evening routine would be intact. It would just be darker and cooler.

But 6:30 is an edgy time of night, especially on a Friday. Whoever is on the road wants be home or be somewhere else...he’s leaving work later than he’d intended...she’s on her way to start the celebration of two days off...someone somewhere is dipping into the routine reserved for them and they need to get there to reclaim it. The 6:30 roads have a sharpness to them as people, myself included, take the most direct route to get there.

Hitting the trail for my last 3 miles didn’t bring the calm I was sure it would. At night the highway 7 underpass is suspect...its far nooks and dark crannies harbor spooks. I swiveled my headlight from left to right in a quick scan BOO!

Oscar was relieved to greet me when I arrived -- our routine had finally begun. I threw on my fuzzy winter tights with a fleece, cracked open a Negra and started supper.

- finally, The Old Bag again


Jill said...

Cycling is the best way to unwind after work. I wish I had to opportunity to commute more, but alas, in rural Alaska that takes a good headlight and a pretty hefty pair of studded tires.

the old bag said...

Likewise, Minnesota requires a good headlight (it's dark at 5:00 now) -- best $100 I ever spent, and it's saved me that much in gas money over the years.

I've not been a winter commuter yet...not sure how committed I am to a 24 mile round trip in the snow. I'm getting some good insight from TW over at B&I when it comes to the right equipment for the deep freeze commute!

Thanks for stopping by!