Sunday, December 14, 2014

Into the Stillness

Finding "milk glass" on my Crystal Lake ride

An absolute
Trees stand
up to their knees in
fog. The fog
slowly flows
cobwebs, the grass
leaning where deer
have looked for apples.
The woods
from brook to where
the top of the hill looks
over the fog, send up
not one bird.
So absolute, it is
no other than
happiness itself, a breathing
too quiet to hear. 
-Denise Levertov

Watching the last of the snow depart from the farm fields

Mother nature graced us with Seattle weather this past week.  The clouds rolled in, many days ago, and seeing as they must like it here, they chose to stay.  I was told the sun came out for an hour, but alas my place of work is cave like so I never saw it.  

In this weather, day an night seem to blur together
When living in a northern clime, one often wonders if it would be better to have thirty to forty-five degrees with clouds and drizzle or negative twenty to thirty degrees with sun.  Not having a choice in the matter, I opted to buck up and get outside to explore how the slightest changes in weather, change the scenery around me.

Through the fog, witnessing the seasons and years roll by
There were three things I noticed right away.  The first and most obvious was how cool, damp air settles so deep in the body my bones began to hurt.  I laugh at myself for sounding like an arthritic old woman, but there is something in my constitution which detests cold mixed with moisture.  No matter how much I sweat, the moment I stop moving, the cold cannot be shaken until I take a long hot shower and drench my insides with hot tea.  Second is how scents linger in the air and cling to my nostrils and lungs in damp weather.  As I pulled off the road to get a picture of a farm, I could smell pine resin, manure, woodsmoke, bacon and smores.  These followed me for almost a mile.  Lastly, I sometimes feel almost as if I'm scuba diving.  Sounds are deadened--absorbed by either clouds themselves or the moisture they produce.  My breathing rates slows, and when I'm producing enough heat not to shiver uncontrollably, I feel almost hugged by the fog.

All of these wonderful feelings are brought to an abrupt halt when I notice the pavement has opened into a gaping maw from freeze/thaw cycles and I am able to hear "feed me Seymour" coming from its dark depths.  This noise only being silenced by the constant grinding coming from millions sand grains working their way into my cassette and chain.

One reason I ride with others is to drown out the sound of my dirty bike

After tomorrow, reality is supposed to hit again.  The mercury is expected to drop below normal and we might even see the sun in a few days.  We will soon find out if my mood lifts with the sky's clarity or if I continue to dream about Seattle weather.

If the weather doesn't lighten my mood, a cycling Krampus does the trick!

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