Thursday, June 21

ignore less

in another life, I biked to work fairly often--nearly every day if it wasn't too cold or too windy or too dark or too inconvenient. we can thank friend Carlos for the bike itself, and friend Shara for the inspiration. I miss those days, a little.

since I moved to this vast, flat, cotton-filled place called Texas, I've ridden my awesome blue bike around on exactly six occasions. the most recent of these was yesterday, the longest day of 2012. I woke up and biked to work. according to google maps, it's a journey of 3.6 miles there and 3.6 miles back. definitely not too far. and yesterday definitely wasn't too cold or too dark.

things look different from a bike. you've got plenty of time to notice the debris scattered under each set of traffic lights, in the wedges between all the curving lanes of traffic. you've got plenty of time to breathe in the scent of whatever-those-purplish-weed-looking-plants-are along the roadway. you've got more time to appreciate the sun sparkling on that surely man-made lake to your right, and ages to contemplate what those construction workers are trying to accomplish across the street to the north.

I also noticed jackrabbits.
{ photo borrowed from this kind soul on flickr }

jackrabbits are huge. (unless it's just the jackrabbits in Texas? are they the only ones that are huge?) the whole block south of 4th Street between Quaker and the Parkway is empty. it's just dirt and weeds surrounded by three parallel stretches of taut barbed wire, and who would think to pay any attention to such a boring chunk of land on their way to work?

but when you're biking against some crazy west Texas wind and you're not in any true hurry to get anywhere--indeed you have absentmindedly left your only time-keeping device at home on your nightstand--then you have the time to look around. and that's when these bounding, big-eared rodents [okay, I just learned that these are not rodents. speaking of ignorance and having less of it... rabbits: not rodents. lagomorphs. got it.] lagomorphic creatures will catch your eye. it made me grin to see them levering their tawny bodies up and down with those long, long legs. some of them reared up, twice as tall as the rather tall weeds, and looked like they were dancing. or fighting. perhaps both?

I don't know much about jackrabbits at all. I am not a biologist. and my trajectory towards the editorial office yesterday--not to mention the barbed wire--kept me from stopping to take any field notes. but these jackrabbits have demolished the idea that there is nothing in that ugly field worth paying attention to. today, from my car this time, I saw them again. and crows.

next week, if the weather is not too hot and the roads not too life-threatening, I plan to bike to work again. perhaps two or three days in a row. I'm sure I'll be noticing more jackrabbits, more weeds, and maybe another discarded spark plug or two. it's all part of seeing the world, even the dusty, weed-covered corners you used to drive past every morning without ever turning your head.

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