Winding through the neighborhood on my bike, I reach the trail. Everyone tells me this is a good place to ride, but I’m suspicious. It’s hard to shake the memories of bike riding through the mountains in California and be satisfied with this meandering path through the prairie, but I take a deep breath and embrace what is: this trail with its tall grasses and singing birds, fresh spring air, a measure of silence.
I breathe in the crisp air, sweet as Boone’s Farm wine, and quickly become intoxicated with its healing beauty.
My thoughts wander back and forth like the dirt trail I ride on. Even after almost seven years, I miss California. I consider the out of control wildfires there, grateful my mother moved away from Santa Cruz a couple of years ago.
I pray for Leslie, a constant prayer I’ve prayed all week: God have mercy. Be present to her. Heal her. Please, God. Heal her.
I coast down a hill and feel the cobwebs in my soul scatter, leaving me exposed; vulnerable. I ride along quietly with a keen awareness of God’s gentle presence. Unanswered questions sit between us. We’re quiet, like estranged lovers who run into each other at the mall, both waiting for the other one to say the first word.
A character in the story I’m writing dances in my mind, and I’m dying to write it all down. I consider cutting across the path and over to Starbucks where I can scribble on napkins, but I need to get home and shower, go to the grocery store, clean the kitchen floor. So I head back home instead.