Thursday, January 22, 2009

out and about

these are the people I saw yesterday on my ride:

1 dog walker (one dog)
1 toddler and her family, sledding
2 sets of 2 walkers (rare)
8 cyclists
1 runner
2 hunners (that's "hunter" in english)
1 jogger
2 artists

we were all up the canyon, trying to breathe clean air, and I believe, succeeding.
had I been riding two hours later, I would have seen my son's lacrosse team, who rode a bus up the canyon for their outdoor workout. the wonderful winter inversions of our fair city tend to give us muck to breathe.

I rarely see people out walking the canyon road in twos, but even more rarely do I see artists, sitting by the side of the road, working on their sketches and paintings. this was my favorite couple of the day yesterday.
they were plunked down on a wide stretch of shoulder about a mile from the summit, their outdoor canvas chairs facing the drop-off on the western side. their view took in miles of hillside spotted with homes, and the curve of the canyon walls winding down into a jumble of hills that drew the eye to the small opening at the bottom which revealed a siting of the city.
his pad looked black and white in my quick glance, while I saw a palette dotted with color on the arm of her chair. I offered a hello which was returned heartily by her, and acknowledged with a brief look by him.
they were young, and wrapped in scarves and coats, though their hands were bare. her voice was joyful, and I like to think that they were immersed in their experience, braving the bitter cold to capture the vision they desired.
joggers, runners, hunters, walkers, sledders, cyclists: we are all commonplace on this road. whatever our reasons, whatever our goals or desires, we are busy doing whatever motions are required for our activity. our minds may be focused on our efforts or a thousand miles away, but our bodies are busily keeping us grounded.
artists, on the other hand, seem to pinpoint a moment in the day, a single place on earth. they are committed to documenting the existence of those moments and places, and they bring joy to my soul.
it is to 2 strangers that I owe a bit of gratitude today, which is perhaps a beautiful way to weave my way through the world.

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