31 July 2018

Back To A Familiar Light

Yesterday I pedaled the 140 km to and from my apartment and Greenwich, Connecticut.  Although it's the longest ride I've done in three weeks, it actually seemed almost easy, even when I was climbing the ridge at the state line.  

One reason for that, of course, is that I was riding one of my own bikes:  Dee Lilah, my new Mercian Vincitore Special.  Plus, although the day was warm, it wasn't nearly as hot--or humid--as what I experienced in Cambodia and Laos.  

Even more to the point, the sun was much less intense.  I didn't think of it until I got to Greenwich and sat in the Common, by the Veterans' memorial.  Normally, I wear sunglasses any time I'm outdoors:  something my opthamologist recommends.  But, as I was sitting on that bench in the Common, I took off my shades.  The green of the leaves, and the pinks, purples, yellows, oranges and other hues of the flowers seemed soft, almost cool.

Not only did I have to remind myself to wear my shades, I also had to remember to put on some sunscreen.  Even when it was overcast, I could feel the sun's heat and radiation on my skin.  So I didn't forget to massage myself with protective lotion, or to wear my broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses.  Even so, at the end of the day, I would feel the kind of tiredness I experience after spending time in the sun--say, at the beach or after a bike ride.  Then again, I spent much of my time outdoors, looking at temple sites and landscapes.

I now realize that yesterday and the day before, I was experiencing, more or less, what I experienced when I've gone to France or northern Europe in the summer:  longer hours of softer light.  I believe, though, the difference is even greater between here and Southeast Asia than between here and Europe.

In any event, I enjoyed the ride, as I almost always do.  And it is nice to be my age and not feel tired after a 140 km ride!

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