Monday, March 2, 2009

A Chain of Events

It seems like such a bad idea. Absolutely silly. It's cold tonight.
Only 48 degrees.

But my sister-in-law Pam and her friend (my friend, too) Claire want
to go for a bike ride down to the Loxahatchee River. After dark.

I had asked them earlier what they liked to do for fun here at
Florida's Jonathan Dickinson State Park. This is it, they said. Ride
down to the river after dark. They also like to hike (and get lost),  
howl back to coyotes and laugh.

This will be fun, they say. Oh, boy. Fun. We're going to ride bikes
after dark in the cold.

My husband and I wear long pants, long sleeves and a sweatshirt over
that. We attach lights to our bikes, then pull on gloves (mine are
pretty little decorative worthless things, I've discovered.)

It's only five miles away, but it's cold. I'm not looking forward to

By the time we leave, there are seven of us. Off we go, in the dark,
in the cold, to pedal five miles away to a river we won't be able to
see in the dark and did I mention it's cold?

Right away, I discover something about bike riding at night. It's
magical. It's life in a different dimension. I slice through blackness
into blackness, where I can't see things. Yet I feel safe, enveloped.

And what I can't see can't hurt me.

Like hills. I can't see them. There's no  time to fret over
potential pain because I don't know the hill is there until I'm right
in it.

I don't fear the coyotes howling off to our left, or the animal next
to me rattling the grassy shrubs.

I'm protected by the darkness. Even when I take a spill I feel oddly
cushioned by the dark.

I can see my fellow bicyclers, because we all have lights, and I can
hear their constant chatter. I'm chatting lots, too, and smiling a
lot. And I'm having a great time. Because in this new dimension,
enjoyable chatter and spinning wheels dominate time.

We arrive at the river refreshed, then turn around for home.

Ohhh. Do we have to go home? It's not that cold anymore. And the dark is lovely. 

Can we play, just a little while longer?

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