It is the late Fall, heading into Winter. The city and suburbs have taken on an oppressive almost unbearable gray. I get to wondering how long and how cold this Winter will be. It's only October and we've barely had a hard frost yet... But, we are creatures of anticipation.
Pedaling out into the dark at obscene hours of the morning I wrench a few chilly miles from the cold cruel grasp of Mother Nature and her infernal seasons. I dream of Spring, longer days and the warm loving caress of the sun. Snapped back to reality by the feeling of tarmac passing under tires pumped to 120 psi, the bite of crisp air against my skin is a slap on a not-fully awakened face. The oppressive gray looms ahead.
Just then there is a splash of orange which catches my eye. "No, I didn't see that..."
There is a flare of brilliant, explosive yellow. I am swimming in a river, adrift in hues of orange, yellow, gold and fire engine red. Fireworks on the fourth of July... butterflies aloft on a mid-summer night's breeze... fireflies on a black velvety sheet of night... The world changes pigment the glorious warmth of the foliage mocking the passing of Summer, belying the approach of the monochrome of winter.
It's the time of year when witches haunt, and ghosts gallivant amongst moaning ghouls, the day after Halloween. Our festive morbid ideas of fun have been sated with calorie rich, nutrient poor treats.
We pare our excesses riding these last few balmy days of Fall filling the empty calories with color. We drink from the river of life and the color of our memories feeds us as we ride inexorably into the gray. Ride we must, collecting the visions of color that fuel our hibernations.
I ride into the Garden of the Gray with the fireflies on my heels lighting the way.