Washout

Rode my bike to work, and on the way back it rained hard, big cold pelting drops that soak you through, drum on your head and back like handfuls of gravel and stream through your clothes. Peddling along beside the canal, squinting against the water running down my face, shoes squelching with every turn of the peddles, I slogged the five miles without another person in sight, only a few ducks for company.

Although epically wet, it wasn’t cold or windy, so it could have been much worse, but the going was slippery in a few spots and on one corner the bike went over. Luckily, a long-ago decade of falling off things had left the muscle memory to land me on my feet, with nothing worse than a wrenched hand and some reflexive cursing. The worst of it was getting back onto the now-drenched saddle, soaking the only bit of me that had stayed dry until then.

It was an oddly nostalgic journey – I seem to have spent a lot of my teens and twenties outside getting soaked, and it happens much less often now – but it did also remind me that no matter what humans can do as individuals or a species, in the face of the weather, we can only hope for kindness, or to endure.

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