Excerpts from my journal regarding one of my very favorite activities: riding my bike...
I bought a bicycle trailer with my birthday money (only $70!). So far, Allyson and I are really enjoying it. I love getting out early in the morning and doing laps in the park, praying for my family and friends. I love the way my body is still strong even as I continue to slowly age. I love the trembly feeling in my thighs after I labor up a hill. And I love Allyson's squeals when we go barreling down the gentle slopes in the park.
Thank you, Lord, for the strength and health you have given me.
The other day, I went for a ride at our neighborhood park--Arcadia. It was just me and Allyson, riding in her cheap, serviceable blue trailer. We were heading back home after 30 or 45 minutes of riding, and I was enjoying the beauty of the trees and flowers in the neighborhood--after an unprecedented amount of rain this summer. My thoughts turned to God as they often do when I'm enjoying beautiful foliage or a cool breeze or the warm sun on my back.
Suddenly, I remembered the song by Bette Midler called "God is Watching Us." That phrase sang through my mind, and I wondered, "God, are you watching me now?" That put me in mind of Ethan's continual request to "Watch me, Mommy! Watch this!"
So I said, "Watch this, God! Do you see me riding my bike, pulling this trailer? Do you like seeing me have fun?"
And I felt I could almost see him smiling, content and proud of his daughter. I felt such peace and thankfulness pervading my thoughts. I was thankful for the strength in my legs and the breath in my lungs and the steady, strong beat of my heart. It was a wonderful moment, if fleeting, and I'm glad I remembered to write it down.
Last week, I paused in my favorite part of my bike ride. I stood in the cool, green light and drank my water. Before I stopped, it had seemed so quiet and peaceful. All I noticed was the click-click of my badly adjusted gears and the creaks of Allyson's trailer frame.
When I stopped, I could hear hammers on a nearby roof, a garbage truck, and kids playing at Bluebonnet Elementary nearby. Still, though it was far from truly quiet, I marveled at how quiet it felt. Something about the canopy of trees overhead and the tall, swaying grasses gave the physical sensation of quiet and calm.
In any case, I literally breathed in the peace. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply, and then I climbed back on my bike and rode back into the noisy world of every day life.