Seasonal change brings serendipitous moments.
Daylight is becoming less plentiful as we roll further into October. In the East, preparation for Halloween is going full speed. Growing up in Los Angeles, there wasn’t (in my world, anyway) such a focus on October 31st as a day to celebrate; but in the Northeast, it’s the gateway to holiday season and the semi-official end of warm weather, so people go all-out in decorating and planning.
Indian summer may provide balmy days well into the month, and sometimes almost to Thanksgiving, particularly in the mid-Atlantic area, prompting conversation of the hope that trick-or-treaters won’t have to wear sweaters or coats over their costumes on Candy Gathering Night.
I can’t remember a single person in my years growing-up in Southern California telling me Halloween was their favorite holiday, but in Delaware, I hear it all the time. It surprised me at first. I’ve been here fifteen years now and I understand. It’s a time to revel in all things related to the fall season: leaves changing color as nights get cold enough to crush the sugar molecules within and release hues that whip into the cornea.
As-yet undeveloped farmland released of labor in harvest season, roadside stands bulging with pumpkins, bales of hay rolled up and spaced like golden dashes in green fields. Sweater weather creeps in and we turn on the heat for the first time since March or April. On nighttime dog-walking duties, we smell wood fires burning from surrounding houses decorated with orange lights and little white ghosts. We know winter is coming, but it’s not here yet and there’s no reason to roll up the sidewalks. There’s still time for me to enjoy an early evening Trikke ride on a weekday, and quiet morning rides on weekends.
I’m a solitary exerciser. I crave the insulation my rides afford me, particularly when it seems I have the wide, well-groomed streets to myself. It’s my time to listen to favorite speakers whose works I’ve downloaded to my iPod: various instructors, ministers, audio books, radio shows, famous inspiring speeches. I plug my ears, so the voice fills my head and soon I am lost in the content, sometimes so engaged that tears flow down my face and I verbally acknowledge ideas that have an emotional impact. I often want to throw up my hands and dance over recognition of some truth. But this can be dangerous on a Trikke, so I laugh or shout (sometimes both) while carving vigorously uphill and channeling the emotion into my legs, my arms, my feet.
Before I know it, an hour has passed and I’ve been enlightened, inspired or blessed with information I can put to work. Sometimes I spend another half an hour, digesting what I’ve just heard, skating along in silence, concurrently dropping my anxieties like breadcrumbs as I gather moments that give me the sense of being fully alive and aware: catching the sounds of geese in the distance, sensing the humidity of an oncoming storm, noticing the leaves changing in the trees dotting the golf course.
Halloween is just four weeks away. I have a full month to ride through its portal into November, filled with its own special significance about the passage of a year. No costumes or candy for me this time of year, as much as I can see how some enjoy it. For me, the treat of being on a Trikke is sufficient.