So I stood there on 8 South at CNN Center looking out my office window at the ominous black clouds filling the sky. An executive assistant and lifelong southerner named Sharon walked in and said, “It’s comin’ a toad strangler.”
Recently relocated from New York City, I had to take a moment to first understand the words she said with her thick accent, and then figure out what they meant. There has not been a storm since then over these past 31 years when I haven’t thought of those words.
A few days ago I was Traveling at the Speed of Bike on the Big Creek Greenway in the Metro Atlanta suburb-city of Alpharetta, Georgia. The sky was getting darker by the minute. I stopped by my secret thistle meadow under the power lines and did my daily Leap of Faith, muttering those words Sharon said so many years ago.
It’s comin’ a toad strangler.
It’s. Comin’. A. Toad. Strangler.
And then these next words just fell out.
And we are not ready.
We are not ready for the disasters that are increasingly filling our skies and streets and city halls — drowning our voices and choices, and strangling our society (and species). We are not ready, and we are not doing what we need to do to get ready. And I wonder if anything I can do will really help, or if this precious unrepeatable gift of time with which I’ve been entrusted by my higher power can be put to better use.
I don’t know. And I need to find out. Therefore, I am taking a six-week sabbatical, effective immediately after I push Publish on this post (with the exception of my upcoming planned classes).
That’s it. That’s the 9-month update. The profiles of people, welcoming routes, free classes, and meetings with our global bicycle mayor consortium that have happened since this 6-month summary may or may not matter. Time will tell.
For now, today, however, the streets are still dangerous. People are still begging for basic dignity. And simple solutions still seem unachievable to those who insist on remaining in the gutter of failed imagination.
But let there be no doubt in your mind. It’s comin’ a toad strangler, folks. And we are not ready.
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