Surviving the winter.....
The train was rumbling slowly down its tracks.. It seems to be passing every time I leave the office. It carries a lonely mood.
There are few cars on the highway, everyone is already home, safe, sound and warm. Only the driven or desperate are out on such a night.
As I turn to make my way to my car, I notice a strange red blinking light on the highway. It's a bike!!!
Yes someone is riding their bike down Pembina Highway. They are hunched over the handle bars. Intent, exposed – fearless - I suppose - braving the worst conditions ever!
And here I am worried if my frozen car will start.
The engine grumbles - but it starts.
By the time, I turn onto the highway the biker is gone. The road is empty, And I drive slowly to my house - pause right at the end of the driveway and push a little button. The garage door comes alive. It creaks a little as it opens - ever so slowly, laboriously. I drive in even before it is finished opening. I am anxious…. I want to get into the warm.
All the cares of the evening that I have accumulated in the stories I heard - simply fall away - as I step into my lovely warm home.
I remember the biker. I hope he is safe.
Then tonight, middle of the week, I have another meeting. This time it is at another place - the place where the candles are always lit.
As I get into my car after the meeting- I don't even need my gloves. It’s a much different evening. The temperatures have climbed overnight it seems - now hovering close to 0 – unbelievable.
As I pull onto Waverley, I notice that the road is wet. The white lines have completely disappeared under a layer of something sinister that looks a little like snow but mostly mud – and who knows what.
But I think nothing of it. I want to get home quickly.
Just then a white van swings in front of me -- spraying my car. Not to worry, I have ample windshield washer fluid which I have to use quite a few times, following the white van - which suddenly veers to the left.... and I almost bump into another bike!
Yes - a bike - on the highway. This time the bike is decorated with at least 4 red blinking lights… almost a firetruck.
I veer to the left as well... just in time.
I can't believe that someone would dare to ride a bike in the thawing snow and slippery mud!
No telling if there is black ice!
And daring to share the highway with zig sagging drivers all trying to find their lane.
I’m not sure which is more dangerous the deep freeze or this sloppy night.
I'm a little annoyed with this biker -- with all of them - actually.
And I wonder why....
Is it because I'm just a tiny bit envious of their tomfoolery courage....?
A grudging admiration. They are survivors... truly.
“Bravery hides in amazing places.” Kiera Cass