It’s always fun to see the seasonal changes to these guys.
I wasn’t eager to get on the trail this ride though. Years back I was seeking marriage counseling. I said to the counselor “He says I’m thin skinned, but it doesn’t feel that way. I don’t really know how big these things actually are…” She opened her arms wide like those little figurines that say “I love you this much” and said “Huge, they’re huge.”. She told me that I needed to start feeling things, and to stop trying to think them away. Even after it was apparent that she thought my skin was too thick, it still took me quite some time to give up and move on. Life is a lot better now. But still, life deals you huge things to try to manage, even if all the people you choose to have in your life are kind and ernest.
I have so much to be grateful for and I’m very aware of that, but I’ve had a couple of weeks where “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get” is just one of the things riding me and I see that counselor in my mind with her hands stretched out wide. It’s been draining and I’ve been waiting for the big boohoo. There’s nothing like needing a cry that won’t quite come. It’s like you can’t even get that right. The day before yesterday one thing after another piled up, and I wanted to scream. Not that figure of speech “I wanted to scream”, but that “Please let me hold it in, or go someplace where no innocent bystanders will have to hear it” desperation. I managed to get out of the house to run some errands and breathe without any screams or tears.
The next day, yesterday, I got to ride, but I wanted a nap. I wanted to curl up in a blanket and think about nothing, then wake up hours (or days) later and have something warm to drink while thinking about nothing difficult. But, instead, I drove out to the trail and started to peddle. It took me half an hour to warm my muscles up enough to feel like I belonged anywhere other than bed. Just at that moment, right when I realized that I was feeling glad that I worked through it, I came up on a transmission line easement. Frequently the power lines in this easement buzz, but there was no noise this time. There were several birds in the grass beside the trail. They were Goldfinches, about a dozen of them I think. Did you know “The collective noun for a group of Goldfinches is a ‘charm’.”? I didn’t know that until I was looking it up to know how to write about them just now. I startled this charm of Goldfinches, and they flew away from me. But, flying away from me on the path was also flying in the same direction I was cycling, so for several yards, they were flying with me. I was charmed, and I had settled enough to appreciate it thoroughly. And, I thought, “That’s it. That’s what I want to capture for people. Those moments where something beautiful shows itself can be pretty far apart sometimes, but if the camera is always going, there will be a collection of them when I’m done.
I needed it. It felt like a watershed ride. My calm was back. The ride was at just the place in my riding schedule where if I had stayed home for that nap, it would have been so easy to slip back into fewer miles, and then slide on down to even fewer. But, what I did instead was go out and work through it, and while I was there, I found a beautiful reminder of the reason I was out there in the first place.