On becoming more like an owl
a hoot of a tale
I got back into mountain biking only a few years ago.
When I did, it was expected that I become more like an owl.
The biggest challenge has been that faced by my eyes.
(turning my head in a circle has been easy for at least two decades)
We regularly ride at night.
The people I ride with have been doing this for years.
They can see in the dark.
They don’t need very much light at all to navigate familiar, grey topped trails.
Initially, I was severely impaired.
I could not see in the dark.
I needed a headlamp.
Recently, I’ve been out after dark with someone who rides less than I do.
I only brough one light.
You might think that after the first time, I’d be better prepared?
Each time I did, they got to use it. They were less comfortable feeling their way through the twisty, turney path.
I learned that over these last few years, it’s not just my legs that have grown a bit more fit. My eyes are stronger too. They were desperate to let the light in, Riding off ahead in the dark, the path just appeared before me. It was the bright spot between the dark columns of trees. I couldn’t see everything, but I could see enough.
As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, it was as though I could see better without a headlamp. I could see more without the tunnel vision brought on by a human made spotlight.
We spend a lot of time with our attention captured by insistent bright lights.
Without them, we believe we’d be stumbling around in the dark.
But when our eyes are stronger and vision more clear, we can soar through the darkness, and glide over shadows, while serenading the world with an orchestra of bicycle bells.