It’s been a wild ride down at the place of employment lately. Given my mental and physical limitations, I’ll call it overload. Too much travel, too many projects, too many deadlines, and too many complications.
Had the chance to take a Friday off and it didn’t take long to figure out what would show up on my early morning agenda. An appointment with the fixed wheel bike. No thinking, no shifting. Just pedal the bike. Turning the brain off and spinning cranks is good medicine. Rolling through the countryside with a hypnotizing rhythm is excellent overload relief.
Sometimes on a ride, things that are floating around in mind get sorted out. Each individual piece seems to get placed in proper position. Integrated that way, they combine to form a completely different product. Often this product functions as a revelation of some new truth.
Bicycling, if one allows it, opens the mind to process information in new ways. This is one of the main reasons behind the title of this blog, Pondero, and the proliferation of it’s cycling content. I ride, I ponder, and I discover new truths.
The discovery of truth is a dangerous occupation. Each discovery has the potential for bringing good news, or something much less pleasant. Many times there is a realization of how fortunate I am to have sufficient health, time, and financial means to be outdoors to enjoy my local surroundings. I realize how much I’ve been blessed. Other times, the realization is more sobering. This Sunday morning was one of those more sobering occasions.
I enjoyed the ride in the unusually cool (69 degrees) summer morning. I pedaled and manipulated individual thoughts while admiring the countryside. When I stopped to take a photo, I turned and glanced at my bike. Then, much to my dismay, it all became completely clear.
My bicycle is cooler than me.
It was a short pre-work, pre-sunrise ride. It was scheduled to coincide with the minimum temperature of the day, and I nailed it.
Accounting for relative comparisons and all that, there seemed to be a just bit of nip in the air. When I left the house just before dawn, the temperature was only 81 degrees. Refreshing.
When the Almighty offers a morning greeting, He does it with a certain flare.
After the stereotypical hot, dry 4th, Sunday offered a surprising finish to the weekend. We awoke to a light rain. After several hot, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky, sun-in-your-eye days, I enthusiastically grabbed the fender bike and rolled for 30 minutes before church. It felt good to not be baking.
Later in the day, under continued cloud cover, I headed out again. Temperatures in the 80’s and a slight north wind played tricks on my mind. I was transported temporarily to October. After returning home, I sat on my back porch holding on to the last moments of the weekend as it persistently slipped through my fingers. I saw the sun for the first time, just before it hit the horizon…
…as God tossed up a Grand Finale that took my breath away.
If I counted right, we Americans declared our independence 233 years ago today. We said, we’ll take care of ourselves, thank you. We figured we could see fit to take care of ourselves…said we can see to our needs and those of our neighbor. We don’t need to keep sending taxes to some government who isn’t really particularly useful to us.
A lot has changed since then. Over the years, and incrementally, we’ve listened to those who promised the advantages of just one more government program. Somehow we decided first that it would be easier to take care of our neighbor by delegating that job to the government. Then we decided maybe it’d be good to have the government take care of us.
Well friends, I’m ready for a little more independence. I’m ready to take back some of that responsibility…for myself first, and then my neighbor too. Because I have more faith in my neighbors way out here in Denton County than I do those suits in D.C. My neighbors are fine people, and unlike those legislators, understand real life and practical matters of day-to-day getting by. They don’t have graduate degrees, but they can balance a budget.
It’s not cherry blossoms in spring, but a peaceful Texas stream can make you feel pretty free. I guess that’ll do for now.
In the meantime, I’ll keep working for a living, taking care of my family, and trying to do better at taking care of my neighbors….and when I get a few minutes for refreshment, I’ll pedal down these old Denton County roads…
…thankful for the freedom that remains.