With the motorcycling season coming to an end here in Northeast Ohio, it is a somber time of reflection. Well, somber may be too strong an adjective, but parking my motorcycle for its long winter's rest is not something I'm looking forward to. In fact, I'm still riding my motorcycle to work on a mostly daily basis -- as I did just this morning with frost visible on the north slopes of the rooftops in our little town here by Lake Erie. Gortex is a fabulous invention!
One memorable moment in motoring, and I surely would have missed it if not for the closer association with nature that motorcycling provides, is shared.
As I cruised in to work one day back in early September, at my usual "spirited" pace, I noticed a Monarch butterfly flitting ahead in a mostly southwesterly direction. I traveled east bound. Normally this meeting would be but a passing whimsy, but to my surprise, the lovely insect dipped and dove placing itself directly in my path. I felt the rather substantial impact on my right upper chest. As it was a nice warm day, I had only the white dress shirt covering my upper body on that morning ride. I glanced down to see the creature pasted to my shirt. I didn't bother brushing it off, but continued on my route to work, believing that the fifty-something mile per hour meeting most assuredly caused the demise of my fellow earthling. The remainder of my journey to work was a visual cortex reel of the migratory processes of Monarchs, and other transient species that linger in this area.
Upon arriving in the parking lot at work, and removing my gloves and helmet, I looked back to my shirt-front. To my astonishment the large butterfly was still alive -- standing upright now with its wings pressed together and apparently uninjured! As I watched, it departed from my chest, and flitted again (as only butterflies can) up and away -- heading again in a southwesterly direction, apparently continuing its leg of the migratory journey back to central Mexico. I felt good for the little bug, personifying it a bit with emotional complexity that it does not know.