Cycling at night

The light is beautiful. The last light in the north-east sky, fifty minutes after sunset; the ethereal reflection of my headlight on my racing handlebars. That cyclist has a very bright headlamp. Once I turn off the main road out of the town onto the country road through Candleford (nothing to do with Flora Thompson) there are very few cars: fewer than twenty in nine miles, in either direction. The air is balmy- in shorts and t shirt I overheat.

I take it slowly and carefully. The second glass of wine has a cost, as I did not judge the curve on that roundabout well. I know the road, but not quite well enough.

The light which dapples through the trees in sunshine is beautiful, and now the trees make it quite dark. And the light of those two cars’ headlights glares into my eyes, so I could hardly see. I slowed down, pulled into the side, and stared at the grass verge passing to keep in the right place on the road.

I was not scared but reasonably apprehensive of this. I have only cycled at night once before, last century.

Having done it with only slight winds in such warm weather, I might do it later in the year. This is the step I can take, now, towards freedom. I have said I was doing teenage, and never more than now, using the bicycle more so I can get out of the house. I can go out in the evening if I can get home afterwards.

(I didn’t like it. It scared me. The unspoken Truth, the Truth you dare not state-

Different voices in me. One resists. It is all too much. I do not like it. I feel a reasonable response is, it is bearable. It has its pleasures. I am not that Other Person, and freed from that expectation in me I can become a more powerful person than I experience myself, now. What is possible ceases to be merely ridiculous and poor and repellent. It is the step forward which is available.

I want to be in that other place, but this is the step forward I can take, so I take it.

Positive thinking! The experience had beauty, though it was not merely and entirely pleasant. It achieved something I wanted, and holds forth the prospect of achieving more later. Only positive thinking lets me move forward.

Turner, Fishermen at Sea

Go on, you know you want to

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