Restless and unsure of anything, not anything at all, I ride my bicycle in the dark to the top of the mountain. There, I stash my bike behind a clump of small spruce and hike deep into the woods; the night is warm and spooky, the air thick and tangible, the trees dripping from an earlier shower. But the moon shows intermittently, and by the time I’ve returned to my bike, the sky is clearing rapidly, the temperature dropping quick. I ride back down the mountain road fast as possible, trying and failing to outrun the cold, my headlamp punching a small hole of light that I’m constantly riding into but never emerging from, and rounding the sweeping corner I whoop loudly, suddenly so grateful for the speed and the cold and the simple fact that no matter what happens – with the election, with the economy, with the pandemic, with anything, really – there remains the possibility of riding a bicycle downhill in the dark, forehead so cold it hurts, fingers so cold they hurt, cheeks so cold they hurt, and maybe it’s a cliche, but isn’t it true that sometimes it takes a little discomfort to remind us just how lucky we are to be alive?
Well, yes. I think it’s true.