Monday, June 20, 2011

Whimsy Speaks

Yesterday afternoon, after the morning's heavy rains tapered to showers then to sprinkles then to drops dripping from the tree leaves, after the clouds began to pull apart to allow some sun to wiggle through, I checked the forecast, which offered the same as for every other day during the past week: scattered thunderstorms, some severe. Chance a ride? You betcha.

A glance at the clock above the sink showed me I had at least four and a half hours of good daylight left. Depending on speed, I could go as far as 60 miles, maybe even 70. But I didn't want to push the speed. I just wanted to be out.

I started the route to the lake, but on a whim I turned off the lake road and onto a road I'm familiar with but usually ride coming from the other direction. Riding it in reverse gave me a completely different view of the houses, the barns, the silos, the horses, and the creeks. One sight I'm definitely going to return to with a camera is an old windmill, the blades cockeyed, bent, unworkable, framed by the new, giant turbines. I had never noticed this composition when riding from the other direction. 

I could have turned off of this road, continuing on this route in reverse, but I again let whimsy convince me to seek out unfamiliar territory. I rode straight on, forging a new route altogether. With each crossroad I reached, I continued straight, wondering where the road was going to take me. To my left I could see a grain elevator. It became my beacon, and when the road I was riding came to its end, t-ing into another, I turned south and enjoyed a downhill entrance into the small town. I passed by a dad walking beside his small son riding a bike, and I found my way to the elevator, quiet now, waiting for the harvest still months away.

Past the elevator, at a stop sign, I could see another grain elevator a ways off to the south. Whimsy whispered in my ear, "Go." I went. On the way, I turned off into a country cemetery, reading the names of those who had lived, walked, loved, worked, laughed, prayed, cried, maybe left then returned, and were now memories to those who had been a part of their lives. I could almost hear the many stories circling around and between the grave markers. Next time I'll stay longer, listen closer.

Not long after leaving the cemetery, I turned onto main street of the small town where whimsy had sent me. I'd been to this town several times recently and already knew where I needed to go to begin my trek towards home. I stopped briefly on the bridge spanning the creek I usually can sit and watch for hours. Because of all the rain the past couple of days, though, the creek wasn't its usual clear, bubbling waters. Rather, murky brown waters carrying debris rushed under the bridge. I had no desire to just sit and watch, so I set off for home. 

Two and a half hours after I began, 40.50 miles later, I pulled into the driveway. I could see Hubby grilling brat burgers on the grill, and the smell triggered my hunger response. The kids had the table on the deck set for dinner, and in the coolness of the evening, we sat down together.

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