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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Off To Bethlehem

"Learn from the river the
art of moving on without
letting go."
Panana Reed

Other than an wasted week-end, I have been busy this week taking care of those fall chores that need to be done so that you can feel cozy and snug and prepared for the colder weather.  No, I did not get them all done, but I got done some of the ones I like the least:  cleaning the sump pump well and cleaning the culvert.  (I must admit I did enjoy using my new culvert cleaning tool).  The weather for this much needed vacation week is incredible:  warmer than normal, but not so hot that it is a struggle.  After thinking about where I would like to ride and not having planned out a new route, I decide to go to Bethlehem. I will make a few changes from the original route so that I can leave from my home.

As I ride, I can see that fall is gently nudging  summer, telling him that his turn is over and asking him politely to yield. Summer is a male month, demanding and hot.  When he refuses, immune to her wheedling, she will exert the full force of her power and inevitably she will win.  But for now, he stands his ground.  It is warm with a hint of the wind that awaits and makes riding so much more difficult.  There are clouds that come and go throughout the day.  The corn and soy beans retain no hint of green:  they are brown and dusty.  In a few places, farmers are beginning the harvest, jeans covered with dust, sweat dotting their brows that are furrowed with concentration and determination.  Wooly worms scatter the road like confetti and as always I wonder about their journey.  Where are they going?  They seem to be crossing the road from one corn field or soy bean field to another.  Is there some difference in fields that I can't see?  They aren't all going in the same direction, say north.  I smile to myself thinking, "Why did the chicken cross the road?"  Some things we humans are not privy to.  The only think I know is that it  happens every year and is a portent of the coming cold.

As I near Bethlehem, it becomes evident that it has rained here despite the zero percent rain chance predicted.  It is not yet so chilly that I have to worry about this.  While I may not be comfy if it rains on me, it is not dangerous.  I make a mental note to pack the garbage bag that I normally begin carrying this time of year for when I don't want to tote a rain jacket. I think of Joe Camp on this ride when it rained so, and the hardware store yellow rain jacket that he wore like a tutu. I also watch my speed on the descent with all its twists and turns.  Leaves, walnut, persimmons, and acorns litter the ground.  I think of how I used to harvest the black walnuts for my husband as he preferred them to the English walnuts.  I miss him so.  And I remember that this was the last century that I rode before he returned home to heaven.  And yet again, there are tears of sadness and gratefulness, an odd mix. I realize that rightly or wrongly I have moved on, but like the river, I have not and will not ever let go.  There will be new experiences for me, some pleasant and some not.  I may or may not fall in love again.  People will enter and leave my life, some for the better and some for the worse.  Despite my reluctance, I am moving forward.  And there is, for the most part, a smile on my face, and a bicycle that needs to go for a ride. 

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