I don't look up enough.
Consider - I got out of bed this morning, making myself move just a tiny bit faster today than yesterday, and I put on cycling clothes I had laid out beforehand and went downstairs and ate a generous bowl of cereal and put on my cycling shoes and grabbed a water bottle and grabbed the Gitane and went out the door. Very structured, very routine now, and it's all happening smoothly and in a matter-of-fact kinda way.
I was outside just a little bit earlier today - it was 6:04 when I rolled out of the driveway, and I took the usual route into town. The timing of the light at Grace and Cambridge was especially fortuitous, and I drafted through the turn behind a mini-van, down in the hooks and spinning lustily. The light was borderline, but I slowed and stopped to switch over to my sunglasses for their superior eye protection.
You know that still, small voice we're all supposed to listen for? The one that Elijah heard after the wind and the earthquake and the fire? I must have heard it, because I just turned my head up and to the left and saw it, and had the presence of mind to stop, put a foot down and start taking pictures.
Later, while writing this, I could at leisure find the Scripture I wanted - "And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars - all the heavenly array - do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven." (Deuteronomy 4:19). But even on the road, astride my ratty old green bike, I could remember to worship the Creator and not the created, and did so, and thanked Him for a really lovely sunrise, and rolled on.
It's not that the rest of the ride was anticlimactic - far from it - but the road's pleasures were smaller and subtler after that. I did remember to look up more, and I promise I'll get some pictures of the green canopy over the rail trail, especially near the entrance at Spring Street and down on the long, long straightaway. It was like riding through a leafy tunnel, through which I could seek glimpses of other worlds. The time of day and the light were perfect, giving me the sight of the shimmering gold sunlight on a pond seen through the screen of trees, sparkling like silver on dew in the grass where other trails branched off.
I went left on Florida, pulled another Gerald right turn-U-turn-right-turn legalism where the light fails to notice cyclists, and rolled along New Market. I once more danced on the pedals up the first, long part of the hill, then had to struggle to match that speed up the short, second part of the climb - I need to figure out if that section is steeper, or if I just psychologically gear down too much on the little respite flat there.
I came back through town along Main Street but avoided the light at Grace and Cambridge by hooking a hard right onto Bailey Circle and looping around. I rode past the funky old house cut into apartments that had been my home for 11 years and went down Jennings Avenue again before popping back up onto Cothran and thence to Grace.
Here I had the only bad moment of the ride. I had trouble getting my left foot back into the toe clip - it happens sometimes even after 40 years of using them - and while I was approaching the intersection with Reynolds, a truck pulled right up alongside with his turn signal going. But he saw me and slowed, I rolled on out, and he made his turn behind me. Just a little, tee-ninetsy jolt of adrenaline, thank you!
Home, then, turning between First Baptist and Edgewood Cemetery, and then past our old place on Melrose Terrace before putting my foot down in the driveway at 6:55 with 10.67 miles and a nice morning's ride to start the day.
Don't forget to look up, y'all!