Sunday, May 12, 2013

In the egg of night

The secret, if one may paraphrase a savage vocabulary, lies in the egg of night.
-Loren Eiseley
For some reason I look up, and there are stars. It makes me unspeakably happy. This is somewhere south of Little River. At Indian Creek a drop bag waits with a warm shirt and clean riding clothes. I'd like to be there at dawn.

It is not cold, another stroke of luck. There might even be a light tail wind.

On Highway 1, 7 cars in 20 miles. I keep count, wait for them to pass, consider them intruders. Alone with my Edelux lamp, bright blinkie, and a sky full of company.

The whole human world is finally asleep. No talking on a smart phone. No ordering of grande half-caf soy lattes. No desperate, cynical baristas. No ego driving in a BMW or Porsche or Tesla Model S. No desperadoes ferrying kids in minivans. No RVs that don't fit on the road. No multitasking on smart phones in BMWs and minivans and RVs with a Starbucks cup in the cup holder.

No tailgating or passing. No smug stories, protests, rationalizations, pretense. No outright lies, or self-serving alignment of facts, or suggestions of what might be the case. No companies or would-be professionals or their wretched hangers-on. No agendas.

Two things: the white line in my headlight beam and the sky above. Dark and quiet. It turns out after radical subtraction the world is an excellent place.

The space that is left fills in with gratitude. Darkness, smooth pavement, the quiet redwoods lining the road. The banana and bar in my pocket when breakfast wears off. An occasional glimpse of winter constellations: Sagittarius reclining and watchful, fearless Scorpio. No flat tire or mechanical issue. Lights that work flawlessly.

The color of the sky has shifted to a very dark grey. I pass the sign for Dimmick Campground. The store at Navarro, deserted. The grey is lighter now. The slight incline of Highway 128 becomes rolling and the pavement turns rough; more effort required. The rollers mean we are getting close.

Philo, not a soul in view. It's dawn. The driveway leading to the campsite, where riders are just waking up. One huddles in a chair around a fire ring. Oh, the fire is warm...

Yogy, who has been up all night, takes my name and asks what I need. They'll make breakfast, if I want. Just some coffee and my drop bag, thank you.

I am the luckiest person in the world.

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