I rode the bike home last night just before dusk. The heat of the day was giving way to cooler air. A blanket of cool humid air mixed with radiating heat and blanketed the landscape with suspended moisture. The layer of heavy air almost veiled the horizon between the rolling prairies, trees, buildings and sky. It was as if the air couldn't decide whether to be fog or clear and at times I felt like I was riding in a Van Gough or Monet painting. Riding my favorite back-road home, I could feel all the subtle changes in temperature as I rode under tree canopies, over creeks and up on to the rolling prairies. The pungent odors tantalized all the olfactory connections in my brain and I found myself tilting my head and flaring nostrils to capture them all. Shadows, colors and textures teased my image centers and it all made me feel alive. A grin sneaked across my face and I swelled inside, big and tall. The entire ride between the busy hot interstate highway and pulling up to my house was a pleasure I haven't experienced in a long time. I rode just for riding, to let my senses take me and feel the road under me while gliding over the rough surface of gravel and tarmac. The realization hit me like an anvil that it has been a long time since rejoicing in a ride like this. I felt alive inside and out. I don't know where or when I lost this sense of pleasure in my rides. Only that it has been a long time, perhaps nearly a year. Why? I can't offer a concrete answer to that. Perhaps because of the many convoluted events and changes in my life over the past year or so, and preparing for more. Maybe because I rarely go for a ride for myself anymore. The voices have been quiet except those that scream at me to do this and this needs to be done and what next and...... I feel squeezed. Perhaps this is also why I don't write much anymore. I have little time to write, to let my mind wander and succumb to the joys of riding. Of life. Time seems to be running forward in such haste and dragging me with it like getting a boot caught in a stirrup and out of the saddle on a crazy wild horse. There has been little peace. I need to find that again. And enjoy life again.