Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

24 April 2011

Not A Swamper

I've never pretended, even for a moment, that I could be a "swamper."  Even though I was born in Georgia, which has more than its share of swampland, I spent only the first few months of my life there.  And I know that, as much as I love Sweet Home Alabama, I will never have the same feeling for the places figure into that song as the ones who wrote and performed it.




However, spending a few days in Florida, especially when I have the opportunity to ride, allows me to appreciate the beauty of the wetlands I see here.  For one thing, they're full of flora and fauna one simply doesn't find on drier lands, or any lands north of the Potomac.  And, for another, these swamps glisten in the sunlight in ways that no other kind of landscape can.  I suppose that if I spent more time in and with it, I could describe it better.  For now, all I can say is that their perpetual greenness somehow makes the water seem bluer, and gives everything a feeling that is pristine and ancient at the same time.  It's as if those lands, and the water and plants that cover them, could neither reflect nor belie the ways in which the human race has or hasn't touched it.

But when you're out in the middle of one of these swamps--or even riding a bike lane that cuts through it--in the middle of a bright summer today, like the one I experienced today, it's just plain hot.  And it's even hotter when you get a flat and there's no shade to cover you when you're fixing it.

Now, having fixed it and eaten an Easter dinner (ham, baked sweet potatoes, Italian-style asparagus and tomato and mozzerella slices drizzled with olive oil, among other things), I can sit here and celebrate the beauty of what I saw. 

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