Though it was morning, though the fog was not in view, though the birds went about their usual call-and-response routines by the bird feeder outside the window, the world looked dark, the skies overcast, and a brooding silence muffled the relentless commentary coming from the TV, which I turned on earlier when I poured myself that first cup of coffee.
It wasn’t long before I turned off the TV, drank my biter coffee, changed clothes, and headed out on my bike for a ride. Along the path by the Corte Madera Creek all seemed as I remembered since my last ride a couple of week ago. But looks can deceive, especially when one is in motion – and especially when one’s motion is measured not by the destination, but by the distance covered from one’s point of departure.
So yes, all seemed the same as before. But perhaps the wild fennel was a little taller and a little drier, bending with more difficulty in the breeze. Perhaps in the thicket of its shriveling stalks there had been numerous dramas since I last rode by. Birds, lizards, rodents, butterflies, bugs, small and large, have known terror beyond our comprehension.
Beyond our comprehension too, the ridgeline of the mountain, a blue nave. Buttressed by distance. The breeze in my ears, bells that peal “keep on,” “keep on.” I pedal a little faster now, until the path comes to an end. I could go on, merge with traffic on the road, but I turn around, riding back into the breeze that keeps on ringing in my ears.