Friday, March 18, 2011

Shedding Winter

Yesterday was my first cycling commute to work for the year. I've been waiting very impatiently for the weather to warm up enough to ride, and while I know I could have been riding when it was sub-30 degrees, one terribly important reason not to stood in the way: my hair. Helmet hair is one thing. Helmet hair with headband hair (gotta cover the ears when it's that cold) is a totally different matter. Sure I could pull my flowing, long locks back into a ponytail once I get to work, but I wear my hair up so often as it is that I like having it down every now and again. Actually, the real reason I like it down is you can't see the all the gray right above the ears and at the temples. Those darn gray hairs have a mind of their own, all course and curly, so when my hair is down, they get covered up.

But yesterday was warm enough not to have to wear the headband, and when I got to work, a colleague struck up a conversation about the blinking light I now have on the back of my bike. Hubby put front and back lights on both of our bikes, and for commuting purposes, I'm glad to have them. I do think the lights help motorists notice me more. My colleague was impressed, asking about the light and commenting on how bright it was. From there I went to my office and set my helmet on my spare chair. Another colleague came to my door to chat, and upon seeing my helmet, he exclaimed that he, too, is going to begin cycling to work. A third colleague overheard and asked how long my commute is. A fourth suggested we start up a bike to work campaign. Being able to bike to work, then talking cycling for twenty minutes after getting to work, made for a great start to the day.

On the ride home, I noticed how winter truly does seem to have slipped away. The trees are starting to bud, the lilac bushes have green tips showing, the daffodils are near blooming, and the grass is greening. As I rode past the college pond,  the trill of the red-winged black bird told me warmer days are on the way. Being out--outside of the stuffy buildings full of stale air, outside of a car that blocks out noticing the changes happening as one season ends and another begins--helped me wake up from what now seems like a long, cold winter.


John Romeo Alpha said...

When I used to drive to work, I think sometimes I would overlook the transition to Spring, then when it was almost summer and hot, feel a sense of regret about what I had missed. The birds, including the RRBBs, are singing their hearts out just now, and on a bicycle you can't overlook that, and everything that goes along with it.

J said...

I think your commute to work, free of a metal chassis and windows, leaves you open to noticing the beauty around you. Doesn't spring awaken the senses as much as it awakens the earth? Love it.

JK said...

The awakening is what I enjoy so much about this time of year. To see all the little changes happening gradually makes life slow down just a tad. In a car, these changes go unnoticed until they become that all-of-a-sudden kind of realization. I want the gradual these days.