Wonder + Gratitude = Feeling Alive

I spoke last night with a friend who’s in a cruel fight with cancer.  Thankfully, she was feeling better than usual and sounded upbeat.  We talked about books, politics, a funny movie she’d seen and the antics of a few mutual friends.  She was gracious, calm, magnificent.  

Rosalie and I prayed for her.  “So, what would you do in her situation?” Rosalie asked me.

One answer emerged today while riding my familiar loop to Yarnell.  I was feeling aware and grateful–grateful for the morning’s cool air, the light and shadow moving over the high desert, the gift of this lovely, lonely road.  A string of impressions; placid thoughts with no clear thread streamed quietly through my mind as the landscape opened like a blossom ahead.  A ride can sometimes seem like listening to good music.

Iron Springs Road west of Prescott–it belonged to me today

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Terrain-Following Worship Missile

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Explore the Cosmos…Fast

Epiphany at Zion  On this second morning of a four-day, autumn loop around the Grand Canyon, I am blown away, cobwebs gone, in open-jawed wonder in Zion National Park.  Our purpose is to be creation’s audience, wrote Pulitzer-winner Annie Dillard (my paraphrase).

That a short-lived speck of ectoplasm like me has a place, much less a purpose, to evaluate, assess or contribute anything to Zion’s soaring towers carved a sand-grain at a time over mind-numbing eons, seems ridiculous…especially so as I look upward from deep shadow to sun-bathed slabs and spires.  But that’s my story:  Our place, job and duty is to appreciate a meaningful world and recognise our special place in it.

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Kirkland Loop Ride

I’m still discovering new roads around Prescott.  Heading west on Iron Springs Road instead of my usual going-to-town east launched me immediately into unexplored territory.  I’d planned to take two left turns at Kirkland and Kirkland Junction to create a 50 mile loop, but I felt so wonderfully alive when I got to the second intersection…I turned right instead.IMG_4734

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Amazed in Arizona

Beneath the ordinary appearance of this cold Arizona morning, marvelous worlds turned unnoticed.  Chemistry, physics and thermodynamics meshed in unlikely perfection to sustain a planet brimming with life.  Dazzling contraptions, teeming yet fragile, cycled endlessly into and out of existence.  Earth’s intertwined systems called for a conscious observer to appreciate their complex beauty.

Today that would be me…alert envoy on a desert-colored Harley Fat Bob, taking the long way from Phoenix to Prescott.

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Conscious existence in full flower

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