Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Scooting as Life: Daring the Dark
As autumn comes upon us, the daylight hours grow shorter. And like a lot of things in life, darkness comes suddenly and before you know it it is DAMN DARK!
Dark in the city is one thing, dark in the country is another.
Last night I scooted out under a lovely setting sun and within 20 minutes I was navigating a pitch dark, back road, littered with a series of gulleys, creek side sweeps and cornfields on a stretch of darkness that I had forgotten existed in this world.
To illustrate, here is a field of Polled Hereford cattle barely visible...
As I navigated this stretch of one lane back road I knew it like the back of my hand. And of course the Honda lit the way. But the feeling of it all is different in the dark.
Here is part of the stretch of that same road in daylight...
As I rode down the hill into the area alongside the creek, the darkness intensified. I became focused at this point on watching for deer to leap onto the road as they went to the stream for an evening drink.
I fell into a heightened state of expectation, all my senses keenly focused.
My eyes became fixated on the headlight beam from the scooter as bugs danced and zinged at my helmet visor.
My ears were drowning in the night sounds of a million singing cicadas, crickets, and night birds.
My nostrils filled with the sweet smells of creek, loam, and deep woods.
I became committed to the journey. There would be no turning back now.
Wrapped in total darkness, I curved down into the creek bottom, turning left and then emerged into the valley of endless row after row of 8 foot high corn stalks.
Had I not traveled this route through the valley before I would have been totally lost to the darkness. The corn rows, the creek, the farm houses, and the road itself all took on a surreal look in the deep blackness.
But I had confidence that I would get through this maze of darkness and uncertainty. I had done it before, I could do it again.
I looked up to see a friendly partial moon, trying to light my way...
The corn totally surrounded me, as I slowly wove through the valley road. The sight of friendly deer and fawns eluded me. There were no pole lights or porch lights on at any farm house. A bazillion bugs danced in my high beams and on my face shield.
As I moved forward, for a moment or two, the darkness seemed to be winning. I had moments of panic and my mesh jacket was not doing much to fend off the chill of the night air along the creek.
I was getting darn cold!
But I knew I was going to make it through. I had now adjusted, become focused, called upon my guides, and rallied my inner resources to push me to the finish line.
Finally, off to the left I spied a little street sign and saw my little exit road that carries me up from the valley into the residential neighborhoods near my home.
So I turned up this one lane pitch dark road and scooted swiftly up to the top of the valley overlook.
As I emerged into the blazing street lights of a residential neighborhood the world opened up again to warmer air, bug-less headlight beams, and a sense of calm certainty.
I instantly recalled the delicious sense of danger, uncertainty, and pure adventure that I had just experienced. It traveled through my bones and veins and sent a shiver of delight throughout my being!
I had just ridden in the pitch dark on a country back road through a maze of corn, cow fields, and creek side curves!
The joyous feeling of getting through and being stronger and more confident for it rinsed over my consciousness.
Scooting as life, or so it seems.