by Jeff Kisling
I discovered early in life that I am an adrenaline junkie. Going up against the Selective Service System as a draft resister was an early clue. Then the years working in Neonatal Intensive Care, and especially the intense situations in the field when transporting critically ill babies from their local hospital back to Riley Hospital for Children proved the point beyond all doubt.
I “enjoyed” a different sort of exhilaration last evening, though I hesitate to tell stories like this for fear it will discourage people from seeking opportunities to reduce their use of cars. I needed to get to the Interchurch Center for a meeting with local environmental activists to talk about climate mobilization and ALEC.
Although I had planned to ride my bicycle, the tire went flat within a few blocks of my apartment, so I took a city bus to 38th and Meridian (where the route turns left on the map below). From there it was only 1.7 miles to Interchurch Center. But within a couple of blocks of leaving the bus, it began to rain. And then it began to really come down. Thunder and lightning. And then the wind began to blow so hard I had to lean way forward just to walk. And the street began to fill with water, which passing cars threw up in the air, and onto me.
But I was walking past the Crown Hill Cemetery, which was full of trees and plants blooming, and it all looked so awesome in the curtains of rain. It surprised me that I was enjoying myself so much.
Although I had worn a rain jacket, it wasn’t entirely waterproof, and I was completely soaked, and not sure what to do when I reached the meeting. John Gibson, of Sustainable Indiana, who I had worked with for years on the Keystone Pledge of Resistance and Indiana Moral Mondays, let me wear his coat.
Then, just as the meeting was about to start, another local activist, Zander Gieryn, appeared, also soaking wet. I assumed he rode his bicycle to the meeting. And he was grinning, too–another adrenaline junkie!
I have always appreciated the numerous occasions when my environmentalist friends showed up riding their bicycles, including Jim Poyser and Ted Wolner (both Keystone Pledge of Resistance Action Leaders).
While I always try to avoid imposing on others because of my car-less decision, I was very grateful that John Gibson and Wayne Moss gave me a ride home after the meeting.