When I pick my head up and pay attention to what's
around me, it's difficult to miss the mountains that
define the sides of the Wyoming Valley. Much of
the time, though, I don't really see the mountains
or feel like I live out most of my life between
their gigantic walls.
The biggest thought to pass through my head as the rest of me passed most delightfully through the almost, but not quite too chilly air, was that those of us who live in old valleys, cut by rivers and broadened by glaciation, often don't see the mountains that define our topography. I've lived here all my life, literally not more than one-quarter mile from where I sit right now, and for much of the time I spent in growing up I remember wondering why they called this a valley since it didn't look at all what I remembered a valley looking like in my third or fourth grade geography book.
(It was in one of those grades that we used a geography book in which I saw an illustration of the most beautiful pastoral scene that's yet to be surpassed in image or in reality for me. If I ever come upon that place, if it even exists, I'll sell everything I own and then beg, borrow, and steal to purchase the land which provides that remembered vista. If there's no money left to build a little house on that spot, I'll pitch a tent there and live out the rest of my days in bliss nonetheless.)
Even on the valley floor the mountains loom in
the distance, but really seeing them takes more
than the two standard eyes with which each
of us comes equipped.
When I pay attention to where I am and where I'm going around here, however, the mountains are omnipresent and sometimes seem to loom over my entire life - pinning me down not only in physical location, but as fall and then winter approach, in spirit as well.
And that was the end of my "profundity" for the day. The rest of the time I simply rolled around happy to be out on a beautiful day with temperatures still generously warm enough not to have had to suit up to ride.
It occurred to me as I scootered about, that my days are definitely numbered for riding like this. Soon enough the jackets will begin to make their appearances and then stick around for the long haul through the middle of next spring.
Half of me cries inside because summer's over and the bleakness of the darker seasons begins to erase along the edges the best of summer's sweet memories, and yet some other part of me finds joy in seeing a number of maple leaves already taking on their autumn hues. Anyone who's read what I've written here for a number of years has to have noticed that I tend to be most productive in writing when I'm on a roller coaster of emotion, and then both on the uphill and downhill sides of that first big drop. I suppose, that's what makes life most interesting because I'll take those emotional highs and even the lows any day over a flat affect that would keep one's scooter on only the straightest and most perfectly maintained roads. Sometimes it's not knowing what's beyond that next curve that makes all the difference, and sometimes it's best just to stay inside and let the scooter sit idle in its parking space. The wisdom, I suppose, is in knowing when to ride and when to sit. I seem to be making the right choice more often these days. That's progress!