Thursday, June 26, 2014

Aubade, Lubbock (Get out and ride!)

My favorite book to read over and over is Cannery Row. There are a hundred reasons why it is my favorite, and high on that list is that Steinbeck begins each chapter with an aubade. (An aubade, pronounced "Oh Bod!" is a song or poem that greets the dawn.) Imagine your favorite TV show, but some truly wonderful person at the TV station replaced the commercials with very cool, powerful, and relevant short films and you will have an idea of what he accomplished in adding those. Each chapter is a new day, and he starts it out right.

[Literary sidebar - feel free to skip this part like a bad commercial. Sweet Thursday is the sequel to Cannery Row. It has no aubades to speak of. It is best to read Sweet Thursday a few years after Cannery Row at a time in your life where you are very distracted and possibly drinking a little too much.]

[Cubicle worker sidebar - ditto. My office mate is in Seattle right now and keeps sending me photos from whale watching boats and mountaintops and such. Here is the window view from my cubicle:

(Look closely to find the Cannery Row cup and the money our family has set aside to see places like Seattle.)

Today, I needed an aubade.]

(Here comes the part where I turn this into a bicycle post. You knew it was coming.)

This morning I was headed to work on the bicycle and I had one of those great moments. I went west on 55th Street from Quaker Avenue. The road runs downhill (from the perspective of an overweight middle-aged guy on a bicycle.) In a few blocks I found myself coasting near one of our playa-lake parks. With our recent rains, everything is green. There were lots of standard birds and waterfowl, even a snowy egret. I pulled over and soaked it all in for a very short time, and I remembered what those aubades do for Cannery Row. And I was very thankful to be there on a bicycle, and I was very thankful not to be road raging it out with other traffic while driving a car to work.

May you experience your own aubade this week. Joy comes in the morning.