A Little Bit Of Sunshine

Around this time last year I was thinking about the mood-altering properties of cycling; this year it’s the mood-altering properties of some sunshine.

Yesterday was another day of downpours. Today is a respite from a succession of rain-laden weather systems lining up to soak an already saturated land over the next few days.

I expected today’s ride in the general direction of Henley to be a case of getting out while I can, ‘making the most of it’, but overall nothing too enjoyable. I was pleasantly wrong.

The sun shone enough to pick out some of the colour that is still to be found if you look; the major puddles had largely receded and while I was riding through an obviously saturated countryside, the sun shone most of the time and it wasn’t cold. (It was busy but hey, it is the Friday before Christmas; heavier traffic was inevitable.) It was a good day to be out, good enough to make me feel decidedly better for the experience.

Wet winter woods, with just a dash of colour

Wet winter woods, with just a dash of colour

Consciously, I’d say it was the sunlight and the mildness that made it positively enjoyable, that lifted the mood beyond merely making the most of it.

Beyond that obvious, conscious level though, it’s hard to get any sense of what – if anything – I might have been responding to. Perhaps colours trigger something; surely it’s not solely for the lack of crops, say, or the colder weather that we describe the generally colour-free mid-winter as bleak. We humans seem to have always sought to decorate our constructed environments – and, often, ourselves – with bright colours.