When I bike home from work, it is often dark. I don’t mean dark merely in the sense that the sun has set (which happens so early these days!). I mean dark, like no streetlights, no reflective paint on the road, no indication of where the road is, no light but whatever I have on my bike: dark, dark, dark.
There is another way I can take, I don’t think much longer, that goes through a residential neighborhood with streetlights and sidewalks and cars–the more urban way, I suppose.
But in all of my time of working at the zoo, I think I’ve taken that way about–oh, 3?–times.
It turns out that I like the dark way. I like the eerie quiet of the woods and the feeling that I’m far, far away from civilization, even just for 10 minutes. I like how my focus zooms in 100% on finding my way, on the experience of biking. I like how every so often, I will come across another cyclist on his or her way up, and almost all of them will say hi back to me even though all we are to each other is a bright pinprick of bike-light zooming past.
I’m certainly glad for civilization and infrastructure and safety–but I’m glad there are still dark places in the world, too. And I’m glad one of them happens to be my commute.