This morning, during my commute to work, I came across three trees covered in scarlet leaves. I've ridden by these trees every single morning and afternoon since August, but it wasn't until this morning, when the sun just started to rise, pushing away the gray of dawn, that I truly noticed the three trees. I slowed, telling myself to take a picture, but then that other voice, the one that tells me I have to hurry, I have to get to work, I have to finish up student work, yeah, that voice, took hold of my feet and made them pedal on. As soon as I was past, a sadness came over me. I'd let that voice win again. I've been working hard to silence that voice, so I'm not sure why it won out this morning.
This afternoon, as I was sitting in my office, I heard the tell-tale sound of rain against the building roof. I stepped out to see just how hard the rain was falling. Torrents of water rushed off the roof, spilling out into the drive where students were arriving for their afternoon classes. That voice whispered how uncomfortable the ride home would be. Just then, Lovely Beautiful Daughter walked up, laughing at me watching it rain. When she found out I'd cycled to work, she offered me her car. I didn't even give that voice a chance; I quickly declined, saying I had my raincoat and would be just fine. Lovely Beautiful Daughter shook her head then set off for class.
By late afternoon, the sky had darkened, and a fine, steady mist fell. I pulled on my raincoat, turned on my bike lights, and set off. A mile into the ride, between the mist (which is much more like a shower when the bike is in motion) and the 20 mph winds, my hair was slicked back and soaked. Water ran down between my eyes and dripped off the end of my nose. Motorists laughed when they saw me, and I just laughed with them, thinking how sad it was they all were trapped by that voice.