Sunday, October 11, 2009

Harvest Ride

Although I've never worked a minute on a farm, there is something inside me that connects with Autumn and harvest imagery on some primal level.  I don't believe I'm alone in feeling some kind of grab in the gut when I see pumpkins, cornstalks, apples, and other symbols of the harvest.  That whatever it is that reaches inside me and strokes some ancient chord is probably the same whatever it is that makes Children of the Corn type movies more horrifying than their surface content would explain.  Something about cutting down and storing the crops stirs us way down deep in the sub, sub conscious, and while on one level it is compelling, on another it raises the little hairs on the backs of our necks.  Halloween brings it all together and enriches that "something wicked this way comes" feeling with rank symbolism that is all but impossible to ignore.  The unsettling emotion of the harvest touches the human soul with an icy finger.

It was a beautiful day for a ride today with warm sun (eventually) and cool, crisp air juxtaposed in a delicious way.  I left the house around 9 and didn't get back till early afternoon for lunch.  As I once did with the Fly50 out of necessity, I rode the BV at a slower than speed limit cruising speed, pulling over to the curb numerous times to let the speed demons behind me get to those all important places to which they seemed hell bent on racing.  I wasn't going to let the cagers force me to move any faster than I wanted to go, and if I remember the resolve I felt about that today, I'm going to do that more often in the future.  I rode past Komensky's market in Duryea and had to circle back to pose the scooter in front of their festive window which I knew even as I was taking the picture was going to become the masthead photo at the top of this page for the next few weeks.

As I neared the rail yard in Taylor at which I always stop to see if anything's going on I happened to glance to my left and caught a mural painted on the side of a building.  I thought it had to be new, but the date beside the artist's signature showed it to be a few years old.  Perhaps it was the slower speed at which I was traveling that allowed me to see it today for the first time.  King Coal and the trains take a central position in the painting, and rightly so.  Many, many years ago it would have been nigh impossible to get anywhere around here without seeing a reminder of the mines and hearing the plaintive horns of a working locomotive.  I'm glad that the mines are dormant but the rail traffic lives on.

Since I ended up close to the Steamtown site, I had to stop by to see if there was anything new.  Two steam locomotives were hauling passengers today, which is rare.  Although I got a good number of pictures of the action and the thick, black smoke the engines were belching, it was this quiet engine set that drew me closer to see if I might get a decent picture with both the locomotive and the scooter in it.  I was thrilled when I saw that the grade crossing on which I have the scooter parked was right there waiting for me to roll onto it!

The weather, the colors, and circumstances in general seemed to be smiling in my direction as I rode.  The sun and the cool breeze of riding played against each other to keep me refreshed and totally appreciative of ever mile that I covered.  Only one thing could have made my time on the bike more perfect.  Perhaps next year!


cpa3485 said...

Even though I live in a farming area of the country, I admit to being a city boy. One reason is that farmers work their butts off and a more resilient people there is not. I have great admiration for many farmers. And like you, I love the harvest time of year. We almost had a hard freeze last weekend and we pulled off all of our remaining tomatoes and peppers off the plants. We fried up some of the green tomatoes and they were quite tasty.

kmrcst said...

OMG!!! Komensky's iconic mainstay in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area!!! great pic!