Sunday marked my 102nd day of riding. My last entry about angels with wheels pertained to a very prominent part of my Saturday ride, but was by no means the entirety of the experience. The weekend brought me to 118 hours and though I would have like to have ridden more than I did, I am very thankful for the time I did have.
Saturday was a gorgeous day. My ride out 108 is always very special. I have driven that road countless times over the past thirty years and I never saw it, as when I am driving, it tends to be all about the car. I saw a meme that opined that driving is like watching a movie of the world on a screen while riding puts you in into the middle of the action. In alternating between the car and the bike, I have found this to be very, very true.
Almost as soon as I am on Rt. 108, I leave housing developments behind and am surounded by woodland. Though I know that there are houses about a quarter to a half mile away on the other side of the trees, I am for that time, surounded by trees on both sides with no sign of development. It doesn't last too long, as the north side of the road opens up into a soccor field within a half mile and the south side opens up to a new housing development after a mile. This part of the road puts me into the right frame of mind to appreciate the rest of the ride. It is always nice and cool in that little stretch, having a calming effect. While I don't subscribe to fairies in the sense that some do, the woodland definitely has a spirit that is distinctly feminine.
The trees eventually give way to hills and pastureland, and as I crested the hill by the nursery and beheld the sky, I again had that sense of the Heavenly Father looking down on creation. It wasn't as dramatic as it was a few weeks ago, but it was just as real. There was no message of any sort, no sense of a particular feeling or attitude. It was like being in the room with a loved one just listening to music or riding in the car with a loved one just enjoying the time together. No exchange of words, no articulate communication of any kind. Just the pure enjoyment of their presence.
I have made the observation that the sky is not above us. It is all around us. The atmosphere doesn't exist above the earth; it surrounds it and touches it, enfolding it and protecting it. Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and he is correct. We touch it and move through it for the duration of our lives. The Earth is often personified as a mother, and this makes sense; we are all born of the Earth. The Earthmother, Mother Nature, and any other names we give to her are all meant to communicate the feminine and motherly role that she plays in creation. The Heavenly Father surrounds her, protects her, and in turn nourishes her with rain and sunlight. It is the perfect illustration of the unity of masculine and feminine principles, synergy and harmony.
Sunday, I rode to church. The day was a bit overcast but the cloud formations were dramatic and beautiful. It sprinkled a bit on the ride home, but the sky in the east was amazing. But it was the time at church that I wanted to touch on. Church is a place that I have always been comfortable in and the church I attend has a loving and welcoming atmosphere. The presence of Jesus and of the Father is palpable and real. It isn't because it was concecrated by a bishop or because of the tabernacle with the hosts. It isn't even because it is church. It is the divine spark that each member brings, the leaving behind of worldly concerns to come together to acknowledge that there is indeed a divine presence and that we are all a part of that presence.
Those of you who know me know that I have a strong belief in Jesus. His presence is always with me on my rides, leading the ride and simply being there as a companion. No words. No gestures, no dramatic signs or wonders. For years, I yearned for dramatic signs and wonders, but I realized that it wasn't the signs and wonders that I really wanted, but simply His presence. And I have had it all my life. Signs and wonders can make you blind to divine love. Divine love doesn't distract. It doesn't blind you. It illuminates your spirit and opens your heart to love others and to see the divinity in others and in the world around you.
As my weekend concluded, I considered that when I am out in creation on the bike, it is every bit as spiritual and holy as being in church. In a very real sense, it is my church. Lessons are taught without words, directly from divine parents. Going to "church" be it a Christian church, a synogogue, mosque, temple, pagan gathering, or any place where people gather to worship (even if it doesn't involve a brick and mortar building) is about connecting with the divine spark in others and then together, connecting with the divine. In that time together, the congregation is truly connected with the entire world and all life in it. It isn't just about the local spiritual community, though that element is certainly present. It is for a brief time, communion with the divine and with collective humanity.
And so a new week begins. I wish you all grace, peace, and many blessings.
Rock hard & ride free!