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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"For in the dew of little things the heart 
finds its morning and is refreshed."
Khalil Gibran

An old riding friend  I no longer see on the rides I do and have not heard from for quite some time  recently sent me these words to me in an e-mail saying that they made him think of me.  This friend has sent me other words that I hold dear to my heart, and yet again I must thank bicycling for it was through bicycling that we met. And friends like this, the ones who say those things that build you up, particularly when they arrive on a bad day as these did, are truly friends, welded by time and miles and experience. Even when paths part, the memories remain close whispering of the elusive yet ever present past. I can still hear him teasing me as we climbed a particularly difficult hill during one summer ride, both of us panting and grinning as we struggled to the top.  Sweat poured that day as the heat was intense.  The moment froze in my memory for future recall.  A good time.

Though I am not the best at engaging people being neither particularly engaging or beautiful or friendly and having a need for solitude, I have made many friends through bicycling. Distance cycling, particularly, I believe encourages this closeness because it involves time spent together, time talking and pedaling and sharing experiences.  Time conquering courses and weaknesses and challenges that routes and weather throw at you relentlessly and that weave the fabric of memory. Very rarely do I ride a set course, particularly alone but sometimes even with friends,  without encountering ghosts along the way, whispering, reminding, teasing me.  Some make me smile and some make me cry and some even make me angry, but they all make me feel, and to feel is to be alive. And we all know there is no going backward. 

During this time of counting our blessings and being grateful, I am thankful for bicycles, for the way riding makes me feel when the wind caresses my check and the way it makes me feel when the sweat stings my eyes.  I am thankful for the beauty God created in this world to give us fortitude against the ugliness that also exists.  I am grateful for the health that allows me to ride and a husband and family who understand my obsession and need for this and love me despite thinking I am "not quite right."   I am grateful for friends who send me words of encouragement that just happen to arrive on days when I feel less than good about myself.

May you have wind in your hair and appreciate it,  new and old roads to ride and appreciate them, and may you have friends to share this with and appreciate them.  May you remember that every ending is also a beginning.  May you have the good sense to appreciate those who care about you and the good sense to tell them so.  May you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

"The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.  No
Americans have been more impoverished than these who, 
nonetheless, set aside a day of Thanksgiving."
H. Westermayer


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