I felt wrapped in a blanket of fatigue this week. Despite my efforts just couldn’t shake it off. Even though I am at an age where things are a changin, I’m usually pretty stable. But this week, it was ugly. I went into quiet mode, don’t talk to me mode, I hid to protect my love ones and other human encounters from the gloom.
The bike revived me last night. Finally! I took off by myself out the country road, just about 2 blocks from my house. About 1 minute down the road, the chains came off. I must have looked silly, helmet askew, bent over grimacing to get the darned things back on. Got it done and off I continued through the hills of Sonoma County, breathing periodically labored at each new steep grade.
About 10 minutes into my ride, chains came off again. Back off the bike, I proceeded with the now familiar tug of war, my oil stained hands evidence of the struggle to get the chains back on the spikes.
I pedaled on. The hills challenged, but the beauty of the fresh green grasses, inspired me to keep going, to complete the loop from start to finish. Passing several dairies along the way, I ignored the stench of manure from the cows.
Further along there was a spot in the road where my dad many years ago was sure there was a dead body. We actually believed him and went on a hunt to find it! Our search fortunately encountered an unidentifiable decomposing animal, a squirrel perhaps?
Five miles into the ride, I passed the stable where my daughter took riding lessons when she was in her “American Girl” phase. It made my heart ache with a longing to be that young mother watching her innocently posting, riding high on the huge animal. I remembered the joy and trust in her seven- year old face as she rode the horse around and around the covered stable, never tiring of the repetitiveness. I remember trying to hide the anxiety in mine. It was a sweet memory. I biked on.
The route we take every day to work, the blackberry patch we raid every year to make jam, the hills we hike to enjoy the spring wild flowers softly passed in and out of focus with every revolution of the wheel.
The cool air, the setting sun, the almost painful beauty of the countryside began slowly to replace my blanket of fatigue with some kind of unidentifiable peace. A kind of lightness that my spirit was craving, a blessed relief, until the chains came off a 3rd time! The metaphor of the chains did not escape me. The laughter ensued and rang for only my ears to hear.
I try to be happy. I have every reason to be happy. And most of the time, I’m incredibly happy. Last night, I found that hour of relief that lifted the veil of gloom.