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


Ride in Beauty

I rolled from night into sudden morning as I reached the crest of the mesa.  The blades of a lonely windmill launched golden spears in every direction, and its long shadow turned on the pavement ahead.  My own long shadow bounded over scrubby desert to my right.

Yesterday’s ride persuaded me to start early.  At 5:00 AM the sun was rising a little above my left hand.  Despite dark sunglasses, I had to squint.   I was entering Hopi lands east of Tuba City and knew that the desert would quickly begin to warm.  I felt the urge to hurry–hurry like that fat guy in “Lawrence of Arabia” who fell off his camel during a night desert crossing then, glancing nervously at the rising sun, walks a little faster to catch up