This morning was one of those rare mornings on the west coast. The sky had cleared during the night and thus the temperature dipped down to 3 degrees Celsius causing a thick fog to settle on the landscape. The sun was just beginning to win the battle with the fog as I started out on my daily commute shortly after eight. It was a glorious morning.
My route takes me through a swampy area where the trail becomes a boardwalk. It is the most serene part of my journey. I’ve seen muskrats, coyotes, ducks, the results of beavers, and of course hear lots of birds in season. I’m always careful on the boardwalk when it is wet because it can become quite greasy, especially when it’s only a few degrees above freezing. When I am traveling in a straight line it is no problem at all and I’ve found that while turning the most important thing is to keep my mind focused, my hands steady and the wheel as perpendicular to the boardwalk as possible.
Whenever it is foggy it feels particularly silent and serene, like I am the only one there to experience the beauty. All the rest of the world is blocked out and it is only me with my immediate surroundings. This morning I was admiring the intricacies of spider webs on the ends of bull rushes, highlighted by frosty dew drops. It was breathtaking! It was the work of the consummate Artist, and here I was, the only one in the Gallery for a private showing!
Then suddenly my breath was taken away again as my bike and l became horizontal with the boardwalk. I felt like a calf on ice as I struggled to get myself and my bike upright again. My mind had been focused on the artwork and my hands had relaxed just as I came to a slight bend in the boardwalk. Thankfully, I was not sharing travel space with motorized vehicles and the only injury is a stretched out groin that will hopefully be okay in a few days.
My sister was not quite so lucky five weeks ago when she was crossing a wide street on her way to work. She was hit by a truck who did not see her or take heed to the other lanes of cars stopped at a cross walk. She will walk and cycle again but for a few days she was clinging to life and it will be a long journey of recovery.
Someone asked me whether her accident gave me pause in regards to my chosen method of commuting. It did, but upon reflection, I asked him whether it did not give him pause in regards to his own chosen method of commuting by car. This person was taken aback. How dare I assume that driving a car should be reconsidered as a method of transportation! Yet if more people were walking, taking public transit or cycling, my sister would be working, walking and without pain. Private cars allow people to act on their hurriedness and this can cause serious accidents. Victims on foot and on bicycle are not responsible for these!
Cycling to work slows me down for conversations with Bill, for admiring the Creator’s artistry, and even for my physical well-being. In this case I was doing too much admiring and compromised my physical well-being, but it was a small admission fee to a priceless gallery!