Upon the dawn did I venture out into the balmy outdoors following a long and dreadful deluge the night before. This journey into the wilderness provided me room and time for much ponderous contemplation on matters such as life and death and some cycling in between.
Why so morbid, you might ask? I admit it is not my natural predisposition to be preoccupied with such lofty and philosophical musings such as life and lack thereof and our human perspective of it all. However, my roaming this morning brought me into multiple close encounters with things that most people would rather not speak of.
There were three to be precise. Three of each.
Fortunately, it was not my own peril I speak of.
As I set out down a broad street I came across a shocking sight of a large, immobile monitor lizard sprawled in the middle of the street. It was almost as long as my bike, and clearly a hazard to motorists using said street. And mind you this was no back-alley, but a major motorway!
The thought of removing such an obstacle was immediate in my mind, but alas my hesitation led to inaction. Also, the thought of dragging something as heavy as I was did not bring me comfort.
The second encounter was somewhat more benign, but still rather saddening to me.
As I passed a large drain, a bright shiny object caught my eye. Gazing down I caught sight of this majestic fish that was lying stationary in a shallow gushing rivulet of rainwater. It looked a little too pretty and well-fed not to be someone’s pet, so perhaps it got washed away with the heavy downpour not long ago.
The forest was alive after the rain – birds were chirping, bugs were buzzing, ants were streaming every which way. And then I came upon my third and most unpleasant experience.
As if asleep, this poor little newborn lay upon the cold, hard bitumen. This time I stopped to inspect and found it to be deceased, so I carried it out of sight and returned it to nature.
All that cycling did work up an appetite, so I visited the welcoming little Gusto Cafe in the area. Got the special for the day!
Seeing all those casualties, most likely from the storm the night before, I thought about how seeing and coming so close to a thing that once lived could scar someone and serve as a reminder of our fleeting mortality. One can only hope that it is short and sweet. And yet we do not let it cripple us. We soldier on, we live knowing that the next may be our last.
And for what? So that we can have our very own plot of land for our remains to enter? So that we manage to churn out some progeny to continue their indifferent plight upon the earth? So that we can perpetuate the cycle of life and keep the wheel of fate spinning and spinning and spinning?
When I arrived back home, I was greeted by two very vocal and noisy individuals that demanded my attention. Here is one of them:
After giving them their due, I proceeded to clean up. That’s when I noticed the hitchhiker that had caught a ride with me: a little lively caterpillar that was ohm-ing its way across my back! By ohm-ing, I mean making little ohm shapes with its mode of locomotion.
It only had a set of little feet at the front and rear of its stringy body, so the rest just went up and down as it cantilevered most of its body forward every step of the way.
I delivered it to the nearest tree bark and watched it prod its way into the nearest nook in the wood. I wondered if it would grow into a butterfly. That gave me hope. Of course, most likely the cats would get to it, but c’est la vie, non?
That’s enough depressing stuff from me! Go out and live life, people!