I got up early this morning and rode for two hours in less-than-ideal conditions to volunteer at a poker run for a good cause.
During the ride to the stop to which I had been assigned, I was tossed hither and yon by strong gusty winds from every direction.
I’ve ridden in heavy winds before. It’s unpleasant. But this bout was particularly so. I found myself and TheFox pushed to the right track from the left (or vice versa) without warning. Or shoved across the centre line into the opposite lane with such force that I had to wrench us back on course. The pauses between gusts were equally frightening. Sometimes there was a headwind, but never one on our tail. The sky was cloudy and dark. It was cold. The skies seemed on the verge of falling. No fun at all 🙁
The volunteer gig lasted a couple of hours. My fellow volunteers, all riders, were lovely. So was Isabelle the lady at the Legion where we were stationed. There were firefighters in an all-day testing session in the large room next door to us, she explained, that’s why we were in the smaller bar part. I had seen the firefighters putting their gear outside in clumps when I pulled into the parking lot. It looked heavy and cumbersome.
The ride home was worse than the ride there. I made a wrong turn and had to double back. The wind was windier and gustier and the Dwyer Hill Road bumps and potholes were definitely higher and deeper than they had been a few hours earlier. I was hungry because I hadn’t had breakfast. The pick-up in front of me for endless kilometers was glued to the speed limit and there was a queue of vehicles behind me as a followed it. I was unwilling to pass because of the unpredictable wind. And what difference would it make anyway?
I was exhausted by the time I got home at 2:45 but not too exhausted to fire off an exasperated message to my riding friend James.
“It’s really fucking windy and Dwyer Hill Road sucks!” I wrote before I even took off my gear. “I got blown all over the road. I’m beat. I’m going to have nap.”
Which I did after I had some toast and honey to fill the empty space in my tummy. It made me kinda queasy after all that buffeting about.
I slept deeply for an hour and then went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. The sun was shining. There wasn’t a breath of wind. Perfect conditions for a ride. But I’d had enough motorcycling for one day, so I drove my car and listened to the radio to and from.
British Columbia is on fire. So is the Northwest Territories. Parts of Alberta too. People are being evacuated from their communities. Some have lost their homes already. Some have lost pets. Some have lost everything. Drought conditions likely caused by climate change are the root cause and, in many cases, wind is fanning the flames.
I felt ashamed for thinking my riding inconveniences such big challenges when they are nothing in the whole scheme of things. My heart immediately began to ache for those who are experiencing tragedy, loss and despair in the face of far greater ills than I have thus far suffered.
It’s humbling when things are put in perspective so dramatically.
© 2023 Susan Macaulay. I invite you to share my poetry and posts widely, but please do not reprint, reblog or copy and paste them in their entirety without my permission. Thank you.