Sunday, October 5, 2008

raisins and velvet

I slept in this morning, and wakened to the faint sound of car tires on wet pavement. it was just before 8: I had slept for almost 10 hours. guess I needed it.
I sipped coffee while I read and watched the rain slap its drops against the road, watched the river of runoff in the street gutters beside my house. I did not want to be out on my bike. apparently, no other cyclists wanted to either, bless them. I hope they all had as good a morning as I had.
I went to yoga at 9:30, and am proud of myself for three things: 1) using a funny blue colored mat, because my favorite green ones ~ the ones I always use ~ were taken, 2) positioning myself in the front and center, since my usual spots ~ back row, centerish ~ were taken, and 3) being open to the substitute teacher, who taught a class nothing at all like miguel does. wow. what progress I've made.
the weather channel predicted an end to the rain mid-day, and that the afternoon would be just partly cloudy and dry. so I planned an early afternoon bike ride. I waited until the streets dried up and the clouds made a commitment to lighten up and stop throwing moisture down, and about 1:30 I set out for Big Mountain. I didn't want to 1) work too terribly hard, 2) go too far away, 3) freeze, or 4) be gone too long, so Big Mountain seemed the perfect choice.
it was a day for solitary cyclists, especially on the road from Little Mountain to Big. we're coming to the end of the season, and there are still some of us die-hards out there who aren't going to give it up yet, but the "let's go ride" groups have lost momentum. it's like we're all little raisins in an almost-empty box, and the box is being shaken. one comes out and starts on its ride, then another, and then maybe two, but as the box gets shaken again and again, just a solitary raisin comes out. I felt like one of those raisins today, alone on my climb up to the summit.
it was a day for photographers: I've never seen so many cameras in use at Big Mountain. I did not take a picture with a camera, but one is imprinted on my mind, and it looks like this: as we look out to the south, the hills go on and on, and we can see in the distance the mountain range that is home to alta, snowbird, brighton and solitude. it's as if the first set of hills are covered with a multi-colored velvet, one that changes from browns to deep greens to bronzes and golds, and it shimmers in the sun that is striking the hill, just as the nap of a velvet throws off light and changes colors. the next furthest hills are also covered in velvet, but this is a more subtle one, where shades of deep cobalt blue and navy flow into indigo, and it is rich, so rich, I expect an ermine collar to top it so that it is ready for the king. these hills are regal, royal, unfathomably elegant and complex. then in the distance we see the higher peaks, which are dusted with snow from this weekend's storm.
the juxtaposition of these strikingly different colored mountains is shockingly surreal. how can this be? if I were to paint this, it wouldn't be accepted as life-like. my description here defies logic as well.
yet it was reality, it was gorgeous, it was one of those sights that causes you to sigh in awe, in a stunned acceptance of the visual richness of the world we inhabit.
my little raisin self then rode home, hurried to write this before I forgot one single moment of my ride, and is now going to go take a long, very very warm shower and warm my chilly self up.

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