Wednesday, August 20, 2008

moon shadows

have I mentioned that I am this terribly romantic person? I think this of myself, but in writing this here I realized that I have a sense of what "romantic" means, but I couldn't define the word. Hence I consulted a dictionary, and here is what I've found:

Characterized by strangeness or variety; suggestive of adventure; suited to romance; wild; picturesque. A dreamy, imaginative habit of mind; a disposition to ignore what is real.

I think that all suits me perfectly!! I laugh as I read it, and think there has got to be a better definition out there. but that's all actually beside the point.

the point of this posting is that I had an incredible ride this morning.
now that school has begun for my kids, I have to be home by seven, which means I have to leave pretty early if I want to get a good ride in. so this morning I left about 5:30, and it was dark and summer-cold. not fall-cold or winter-cold, but that delightfully refreshing mid-august cold. I wore a short-sleeved jersey and my arm warmers, and was chilly at times but thrilled to be so.

I have a great headlight, which lit my way. stars were out in full force, and the waning gibbous moon was behind me, so I couldn't watch it as I love to. but this morning's gift were the moon shadows. (yes, I've been singing along with cat stevens in my head for the past few hours. for some reason I don't believe his song had anything to do with cycling, however.)
I was riding in the bike lane, little headlight throwing a small circle five feet in front of my tire, so grateful to be in the dark solitude. it is so peaceful there, and I am self-contained and wrapped in a cocoon of strength and security. there is nothing wrong, there is no one who needs me, there are no challenges to deal with or people to please or even problems in the world. it is just me, just me.

and the shapes on the asphalt.

it is so dark up the canyon; there are no street lights, and very few houses that throw light out into the narrow roadway. and although the moon is large and bright, it is high and to my right and behind me, and I don't see its beams lighting my path as I sometimes do. what I do see, though, are these shapes on the asphalt, hovering over the bike lane and reaching thick fingers out toward the road. (remember it is early, and most of my brain cells are focusing on processing oxygen and fueling my leg muscles.)
all of a sudden I realize the shapes are shadows, that they are shadows of the scrub oaks that line the side of the road. that the moon is reaching over their southern side and pushing its way through to the road, so that this faint light is creating artwork on the road, lighter and darker gray designs that I finally am able to label moon shadows.

which then sends me to a euphoric state, because I am living and experiencing this terribly romantic thing that cat stevens sang about all those years ago.

I have learned that I write best when I leave home. I am inspired when I am away, when I see new vistas and experience different environments. writing flows from me when I am given these opportunities. and that is part of what cycling does for me: it allows me to see things from a different perspective, and to have experiences I might not if I weren't on a bike.

romantic: Idealistic yet impractical; passionate and imaginative, having uncontrolled creative imagination, individualism, and strong emotion.

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