The diaphanous air was crystal clear this morning when I launched my constitutional bicycle ride. Today marks the end of the first week of the New Year – and the end of a raucous political week in the United States of America. No doubt many people are worn to a frazzle by COVID isolation, Trump’s buffoonery and the prospect of more winter. My bicycle ride by comparison was ideal.
I began my ride not long after nine o’clock this morning – having somewhat reluctantly withdrawn from the cosiness of the duvet and steeled myself to what was initially more duty than favour. But my regimentation instantly paid off. The evident dryness of the air spirited me. The absence of moisture ensured as well that the roadway was dry. It struck me odd that there were no others appreciating the singularity of the day. Later however while triumphantly winding my way through the subdivision I crossed paths with a twosome of women marching like soldiers into the dazzling sunshine. Automobile traffic was light. I’m guessing that because today is a Friday – and because many are working from home – the movement of people is constrained especially so close to the effervescence of the holiday season and the New Year.
As people descend from gaiety to rigour the atmosphere is correspondingly subdued. The customary reflection easily overtakes the former buoyancy of all that has preceded. Yet the incomparable brilliance of the day promotes irrepressible gusto. Sometimes life requires no more than unquestioning beguilement.
I had no trouble earning my reward – assuming as I do that you share the Stoic advantage of commitment. Indeed so enthused was I by the clarity of the day that it was an unqualified pleasure to wend my way along Country Street to the crest of the wee hill before it descends to the curve towards Rae Road. The return route flowed around the newer housing developments and then back through Almonte’s ancient avenues bearing the names of king, church and saint before entering the more recent pathways through Metcalfe Park where formerly was housed a brick yard. Though I generally avoided hills of any description I did however relent somewhat. It was only when my gloved fingers began freezing that I returned home.