This is the worst possible day of the year to have a birthday, yet my unlucky brother happens to have his on this, the most depressed day of the year. This day represents the giant letdown that is inevitable after the fraudulent holiday season. The Christmas season has little to do with the life of Christ and most everything to do with consumption, anxiety, financial disaster and all material influence that actually drives families apart.

The tension and fervor of the shopping season culminates in a ten minute paper shredding event that produces a profound feeling of hollowness. The high, if any, lasts throughout December 25 and begins a precipitous plunge towards the realization that the season, once again, did not deliver the joy hoped for, but created a financial cavity that will take months for recovery. What beauty that does exist (the caroling, the gatherings, the good will) grinds to a notable stop on Dec. 26th.

So whenever I get a little down in the mouth about the season, I have to count my blessings that my birthday in Feb. has a little time to gain distance on the conflicted times of the Christmas season. It really needn’t be this way. The hopes and wishes for the season are for peace and goodwill towards man. But the commercial interests have completely abrogated that concept and replaced goodwill with ‘gift giving’ The more egalitarian notions of the season get lost in the shuffle.

The season has inherent value. It is important to recognize that this time of year is one of transition. It is the end of a cycle, the dark and quiet time before the beginning of the next cycle. It is a time of subtle, but profound change. It is a time of immense hope for all of the past has competed its journey and now the future stands at the threshold of our lives. Soon we will be immersed in the frenzy of life as the light grows and illuminates the next chapter of things to come. It is a precious time that holds our best hopes and interest. So despite the capitalist’s effort to co-opt this important time of the year, one can buck the material trend and commune with the inherent worth of the season. It is a wonderful time to take a deep breath, sit in quietude and join with the dark energy and await the return of the sun. It is an important time to set the agenda for the coming season. Just as the tulips prepare by gathering energy in the dark and underground, so also can we prepare to blossom by contacting the vital energy that is available during this special season.

In terms of riding the bike, it is a time that can be used in virtual bike riding. This will not replace the physical requirements, but it can serve to maintain interest in the sport when other factors overwhelm the ability to get out and ride. Laziness is a virtue that is under rated. It is at this time of year that laziness can be employed to improve one’s outlook on life. To much frenzy harries the soul. So if you don’t feel like riding today, take respite from the universe in knowing that you are in tune with the cosmos. But be prepared to shred again. The light is returning.

Happy Birthday, Fred.