I try to cycle for while every day, always the same long loop - as we call it -, about 10 km, 35 mins at best. I check the sky for rain and get on with it, despite aching joints or that gruesome tiredness (fatigue, my doctor calls it, ever so proper). First I wind my way southwards through our suburb, past the string of old village houses, timber framed, medieval, low roofs, the playground, the fish shop, the pharmacy, the school yards, the park where elderly men wearing masks play boules, the villas from the Wilhelminian era with their high windows and fancy stucco fronts and topiary framing the garden gates, and so on until I turn sharp left and roll down towards the ferry and onto the bike path along the river. If I needed to, I could cycle north on this path all the way to the Dutch coast or south all the way to the source in Switzerland, always with the river beside me, on and on - I have almost done it both ways. It's nice but tedious in places.
But at that spot, here where the ferry crosses and I have rolled down that small hill, it's gorgeous. The river is like a sheet of blue green wavy glass, swans and ducks and barges and rowing boats, there are the castles on the top of the hills on the other side amid thick forest, the light, the clear air, and I could sing it's so lovely and expansive and pleasant. And I fly all the way back, pedalling faster and faster.
Listen to this short text by Arundhati Roy.
I think more and more that we are facing our one and only chance as humans to find our real potential at last. Provided we can shake off the distractions from these nasty old men and their empty dreams of money and power.
Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.