It’s 12:30 am. I am on my bicycle, and I pedal harder and faster. I have to reach home before the rains can catch me. On the other hand, I want to slow down. It is cool and windy. It may start raining any time. I want to slow down further to enjoy the rain. I want to be drenched. But, it’s 12:30 am, and the roads are almost empty, besides a couple of trucks that whiz past.
I am torn between riding faster and taking my own time. As I pedal further without paying much attention to the conundrum, the first droplet of rain lands on my crash helmet. Pat! The second one on my wrist watch. Pat! The third one carries down something like a tidal wave. In a couple of seconds, I realise there is no dry spot on my clothes. Whoosh! I am not irked. Definitely not. It’s like receiving a nice hug. 🙂
I push the pedal reluctantly, and as though my bicycle seems to understand how I am romanticizing rain tonight, the chain jumps off from its designated place. I try pedaling, but the chain is too loose. I get off the bicycle, and begin to walk. 2.5 miles on foot doesn’t daunt me, despite the livid rains. And, it’s 12:40 am.
As I walk, paying undivided attention to the rain, the wind, and the darkness, I place my right hand on my bicycle. Like a loyal dog that doesn’t demand any attention from its human, the bicycle accompanies me. I make no effort to move it besides placing my hand on it. It simply moves along with me. And, I begin to love its silent company.
The furious rain doesn’t scare me. The marred visibility doesn’t dampen my spirits. The almost empty roads don’t petrify me. The sporadic vehicles driven by curious drivers, whose gazes are fixed on me, don’t alarm me.
The soothing sound of rain, my stroll which is not impregnated with any pressing thoughts, and the silent company of my bicycle, have made me impervious to demons of all sorts. This perfect moment seems permanent. This surreal moment unloads my baggage. This ideal moment obviates the need to meditate on my past and future. This kind moment forgives me for what I was, and accepts me for who I am. For this fleeting moment, I am free.
I reach home, park my silent companion in my balcony, leave my hand into my wet bag, and pull out the book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.
I know the burst of light is ignited by Wild.