Outside the icy rain is pelting down turning the world into a slick, silver wonderland: beautiful but treacherous. This is no weather for riding a bicycle unless you have studded tires and are young enough to recover from falls more quickly than you do when you are my age. It is a good day to cuddle inside with a book and a cup of tea and a blanket as soft as snow but as warm as fire to match my burning forehead. If I have to be ill, and I am, it is a good day for it. There is no guilt for not braving the cold on foot or on bicycle and finding winters frozen splendor. It was not the predicted weather either, and I think of Adrienne Rich's poem, "Storm Warnings:"
"The glass has been falling all the afternoon,
And knowing better than the instrument
What winds are walking overhead,
what zone Of grey unrest is moving across the land,
I leave the book upon a pillowed chair."
How grateful I am to those few teachers that showed me the beauty of words, their ability to evoke and identify emotions and to reveal the beauty that is sometimes hidden in the world. I suppose they opened my eyes to something that my heart already knew. All I really know is that I go back into that world at times, and it nurtures me.
Yesterday was to be the BMB ride, a tribute ride to those first Mad Dogs that braved the cold and the disapproval from those cyclists that put their bikes up at the end of October until spring arrived. While it was canceled, I think of the implications it had for winter riding in this area. It has blossomed. Yes, some people still put their bikes up for the winter, and there is nothing wrong with that. Absence may make the riding sweeter when the earth once again gives birth and greenness riots. But many people now ride all year, regardless of weather, and there is nothing wrong with that either. That is one of the wonderful things about bicycling, that it is so many different things to different people.
And it has given me things to dream about now when I go rest my guiltless head.