The lush greens are faded, the weather has cooled, and between last night’s football game and this morning’s cross country meet, there is no denying that for all intents and purposes, it’s Autumn. But, technically, it’s still Summer for another week. Therefore, one last Summertime Favorite. This is actually a post I wrote Aug. 26 (according to the drafts folder); I am not entirely happy with the essay, but still want to share it.
Yesterday, I went out for a bike ride with my son – he was running and wanted company, and it was really too late to be starting, especially to be out on his own, so why not? It was nice – we talked a little, not much since he was working hard, and nothing earth-shattering, but…it was nice. An hour out and back, and we didn’t start until almost 8:30. We had about 20 minutes of good light, and then dusk, and by the time we finished it was dark – stars and moon out, but dark. Toward the end of our run/ride, we reached the edge of the village, on the country road that both leads to our house, and is crossed by a spur that takes us to the bike path, which is the safer way home. (we had taken the bike path to the 30 minute mark, then moved off and through town, somewhat paralleling the path to this point.)
I tell you all this so that what I am about to say has some sort of context. As we left the village, I pulled slightly ahead going down the hill and that’s when I felt it. Past the village’s edge, that last house, past the last streetlight, cow pastures on either side, I felt a moment of sheer exhilaration – just out of no where, and for no reason I can precisely put my finger on. Maybe it was because I was doing something I really shouldn’t have been – I wasn’t wearing a helmet, I had no blinking lights on my bicycle, and was not practicing any sort of road-safety – I was in the middle of the street, wiggling back and forth, and feeling absolutely FREE! Maybe it was because I remembered being a kid for a minute. Not a kid like today’s kids – a kid like when I was one, and previous generations. I was out past dark! And (even though I did have my phone in my pocket) no technology protecting me, coddling me, blinding me! I looked up, and there were stars – I could see enough to know not to fall off the road. I looked around, and the artificial lights seemed far away, and didn’t inhibit the feeling of being ‘out in the dark’. I could hear the night bugs (and feel them too, a little) and smell the change in the air that comes with the night. I couldn’t stop smiling. For just a moment, it was absolutely fantastic. It was euphoric! and then it was gone. A car pulled over the long hill, and it was time to straighten up and fly right, the safety of me and Boy at the forefront as we turned onto the spur, back to the safety of the bike path.