Warmly Lit….

A cozy, happy and busy home.  A three-year-old and newborn. Granddaughters. Dinner had been made; the dishwasher hummed. A fully loaded Disney toothbrush soon to be employed. Bedtime routine about to commence. 

My husband and I made our exit. Hugs and kisses are easily shared. Our hearts are full. We step out into the night. Dark and rainy. Two cars. The demands of the day required different arrivals. I started out for the short drive back to our intermittent home. The car radio’s volume turned down as it seemed fitting at the end of an energetic day. James Taylor not Springsteen. 

After a few turns I easily take my left onto a usually busy thoroughfare. The day’s traffic like my energy had waned. An adolescent darted across the street adorned in dark clothing. A car cautiously responded to the immediacy of the moment.  Quick and agile was the young rider. I shook my worried head. Was he lucky or well-practiced?

The night was nasty as car lights danced off the wet pavement while illuminating the stormy skies. The sun is now setting earlier as fall begins to eek in. I drove through traffic light after traffic light. Seemed odd to stop when the roads boasted few cars. I passed the many closed storefronts. Evening habits had settled in. 

In my rearview mirror I glimpsed an approaching bike traveling in a dedicated lane. An older rider this time. His age was less discernible. White flowing hair bubbled up from under his red and gray baseball cap. Bouncing off his shoulders. The only beacon. His bike burdened with belongings. Worldly possessions stuffed into bags. A rear bike basket overflowing with items important for his nocturnal survival. He rode with authority. Well-practiced on city streets Owning the bike lane if little else.

Where was he headed on this unpleasant night? The warmth in my heart is now saddened. As I approached my right-hand turn, I waited. Cautious to allow this rider passage. I responded to the immediacy of the moment. Was he unlucky and well-practiced? The many neighboring homes were warmly lit while he rode off to navigate the night…

“After all, a homeless man has reason to cry, everything in the world is pointed against him.” –Jack Kerouac



Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

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