The season has turned. It seems that only in the space of the weekend, it has become dark in the mornings, and cold. There’s still time for another heatwave before the end of February, and maybe we’ll even have another one in March, but the change is unmistakable. It has begun.
The cold was uncomfortable when I left home this morning. There was dew on the rooftops, and waking birdsongs that I’ve not heard for months. I needed my headlight.
There’s been a change in my life too, a medical event. It’s not serious. It’s trifling really, and many people would gladly swap their diagnosis for mine. For such a little thing in the scheme of all we face in life, I feel unreasonably distressed. It’s just another sign of aging, but the change is unmistakable. The season has turned.
When the cold weather comes, we cyclists do a kind of mental shrug and ride anyway. This morning was just a kilometre of mild discomfort until I warmed up, after all. It was not like the throat burning, head aching cold of a frost. My little misery needs to be treated the same way, I guess. Just get on the bike and get going; life has to keep happening.
What struck me this morning was how much the little change in the season, perhaps still unnoticed by many folk, changes everything. The roof iron is wet. On some houses you suddenly see the lines of rafters, or insulation marked out in the dew. It smells different. On this morning’s gentler moister air, I could smell wet wool. I ride the same route several mornings a week; the change in the season lets the smell carry a little further from the factory. Soon I will be able to pick out the bakery as I ride up the hill. Even the noise of the traffic has changed, clearer and somehow less bludgeoning in the morning chill.
So I tell myself that there are new things to explore, and new challenges to undertake. I know that charting the changes is a healthy thing to do, unless it becomes obsessive. Far better that than the man who lives in denial of life’s inevitable change, and stays in a kind of adolescence which one day erupts in unmanageable crisis. But charting the changes means feeling the losses, and the little griefs. Perhaps on the way home tonight, I will sit by the river and just watch the ducks. But inevitably I’ll have to get back on the bike and get going.
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