The previous night, after foolishly moving my car, I hoofed it a few blocks to find a late dinner. As I looked north after walking over the canal, a bright light caught my eye. I stepped away from the road, and walked toward the railroad station. I kept moving toward the building so the station sign would come into the view.
We were coming up on a year since I'd first found myself alone aside the river, just as I had the after last night's dinner. On that first occasion, I wept. I realized a month or so prior what I needed to do, but I felt the means to do it would be out of reach, and I feared the consequences of pushing on.
The previous August had brought the realization that the surgery I thought I could do without wasn't optional. By September, I had a plan to pay. In October, I finally told my spouse. By the end of November, I lost that way to pay, and as December ended, so did my marriage. The consequences had all been realized and my fears had come home to roost.
As I came to the next town, I turned the bike off the towpath. Shortly I found myself riding over the river, and shortly turned north. The towpath for the canal along the other side of the river featured a powdered limestone surface, where the railroad that replaced it had previously been. The ride got easier.
With this year, there were changes. Friends took me in as my life fell apart. Throughout the moments where I found myself struggling to keep moving ahead, folks held me up when I foundered. I worked out a plan, arranged to move, and got myself scheduled for surgery.
I turned back across the river, pointed at the spot I'd walked past the night before. As I reached the shore on the Pennsylvania side, the sign naming the municipality echoed the one I'd finally seen when I got close enough to the train station to take a photo.