I guess the first cool, crisp fall days in south Louisiana will do it to you. This week, the need to do something with at least a small dash of adventure was running high. I had recently written a list of things I like doing - one of which was watching the sun rise. One thing led to another and I somehow came up with the idea of riding my bike out to Lake Martin to see the sun come up.
The night before, I pumped up my tires, got out a water bottle, found my bike shoes and helmet and set the alarm clock. In the morning, I stumbled downstairs, ate a little breakfast, and headed out. As I rolled down Pinhook in the dark (I do have a flashing tail light and headlight), I realized how chilly it was. The air bit into my windshirt and froze my fingertips.
It took 30 minutes of riding before I started enjoying what was going on around me and quit indulging myself in the worry that was wallowing around in my head. I started to notice how white the light was that was coming from the stars set onto the nearly-black indigo sky made them look like clear white diamonds. The trees that line the road were black, with the texture of their shape morphing to a smooth line in the distance. As I rode, the orange to indigo fade on the horizon warmed to a hue of tangerine fading into the color of some well-faded jeans. About the time I started thinking that maybe I missed the turnoff to the lake, the bright green "Lake Martin - Bird Sanctuary" sign came into view.
I rode the gravel down to my favorite spot along the lake, threw the bike down and laid on the grass for a few minutes. Twenty minutes till sunrise. The birds were already busy - with everything from the "T-T-T-T" of the little birds to the squawking of the bigger birds. I thought (as I do on every trip) that I REALLY need to study and learn the sounds of birds. The cypress emerged from the black to take on their colors of green brown and grey. The sky had become a kaliedoscope of turquoise to orange to tinted blue to the steel blue of the old jeans.
I noticed that even in this serene setting, that I could hear the noise of Lafayette in the distance as we all participated in taking part in our American duty of creating "progress". I wondered how long it would be before this jewel was overtaken by the city.
Small sparrow-like birds flew overhead (I really DO need to learn my birds) in huge bunches. They swooped inches over the water collecting their insect breakfasts with their aerial maneuvers. As the sun began to finally make its entrance, I realized that the magic of it all was already gone. The transition to daylight had long since taken place when the sun came over the horizon like a shining silver platter.
As I got back on my bike for the long trek home, I tried to sort out my feelings from the morning. I had seen an amazing show of the world coming to life for the day. I felt glad for what I had witnessed. It connected me again with the feeling of wilderness and adventure - all within 15 miles of my house.
At the same time, I felt strangely disconnected - almost as if I were a spectator instead of a participant in it all. Maybe that's what city living does to you over time. Maybe this feeling is telling me that the months of re-construction at the shop has cost me that frequency it takes to feel "connected" when I am in the outdoors. At the same time, I felt so grateful that it's all out there, just waiting for me. I am so looking forward to fall and winter - my favorite time of year here in the south, and getting my frequency in the outdoors where I want it to be.....
Keep the faith folks. I'll see you out there!