Saturday, June 24, 2006

biking after the hailstorm

Just got back from an otherworldly bikeride. The sky cleared very quickly after the storm, and by 7 p.m. the sun was shining. Knowing I still had an hour and a half of daylight left, I set out on a bike path I discovered yesterday near my apartment. The path wound its way through residential streets soaked with rainwater and coated everywhere with mounds of green and white. The green was leaves and branches blown and ripped from the foliage above; the white was weird piles of conglomerated hail, looking more like cotton than snow or ice. And yet everywhere, people were outside — barbecuing, biking, walking dogs. I even saw one proud homeowner spraying the plant debris off his driveway with a garden hose. Ten or fifteen blocks from home, on a fast downhill, my front tire found a rock or pothole under the leaves and flatted. As I limped home northward on 28th Street, I saw the main thoroughfare to my apartment as if for the first time. At bike speed, I noticed a dozen businesses I had somehow missed from my car: a Korean restaurant, a copy shop, a Belgian bakery. I was grateful for the details that my slowed pace brought to the surface.

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