This poem was submitted by reader and St. Johns resident Jamie Caulley. I think it captures the challenge and the beauty of riding through Portland winters. Read it below the jump…
The Tiniest Bright Spot
by Jamie Caulley
- January —
The darkest time of the year
the rainiest month
the post-holiday sluggishness —
a bike commuter’s biggest challenge
Festive Christmas light brightened my December commutes
Leaves, vanished from the trees
dissolved into lingering dark mush on the road
Bitter darkness surrounds me
Blindly, I bang into multiplying potholes
- Winter wind whips through barren trees
the only sound
My rides, lonely
Early on an ordinary Thursday
surprised by an unexpected break
a lack of resistance from the air
I begin to ride in a comfortable rhythm
finding a grey, but clear, view of the Willamette
No rain pelts my face
Today, the pavement is partially dry
Gaining positive energy, I stand up on my pedals
increasing my cadence
Spring-like air rushes past my cheeks
I relish it
Still cool, still moist
But noticeably a few degrees warmer
My usual winter route skirts Grant Park
The cloud break allows just enough light to safely ride through
Pedaling down the path between old maple trees
I recognize I am not alone
something else is enjoying this tiny change in the weather
Nearing the office,
I feel ready to start work for the first time in a long while
I remember the reason I ride
Too early for long sun-filled days
six more weeks of winter struggle
somehow easier this morning
allowing the tiniest bright spot of hope
that spring would soon return
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Thanks, Jamie. This week has been tough, with the very cold mornings. This helps!
very nice, love experiencing adventure through prose.
This is my first year biking year round and I am really enjoying it..so far! The thing that keeps me going is that I know it’s fasting than taking Trimet, I am getting daily exercise, and I’m saving time/money.
Thanks for sharing this— lovely way to start the day.
Thanks! You’ve echoed some of my feelings as well!
Great poem Jamie – you’ve nailed it again.