Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Zen and the Joy of Biking

yesterday during my bike ride, i divided my time between mindful riding and thinking about the joy my home brings to me.  when i got home, i decided that those two things would be the topics of my next two posts.  later in the day, i spent some time thinking about the nature of God and some of the insights i seem to be finding through my continuing reading, prayer, & meditation.  as i think on that topic, i want to post about what's going through my mind right now about understanding God and how God works in our lives.  here goes my post on riding mindfully.

yesterday was unusually cool for this time of year in our part of the country.  the trees are leafing out, the fruit trees are blooming, and the daffodils are beginning to spring up.  spring is definitely in the air!  most years we don't have four distinct seasons--fall tends to be almost as warm as summer, winters are mild, and spring is warm.  this year has been different in that we've had a winter that really seems like winter with three pretty good snows.

as i rode, there was a cool wind that was just the right intensity: enough to keep me from getting too hot as i rode but not so cool as to require a jacket.  i thought about the perfection of that breeze.  sometimes it was strong enough to make me have to work hard at peddling to climb hills, but most of the time it was just a gentle breeze that made my ride more enjoyable.

because it was a little on the cool side, there were few people in the park.  on the trail there were fewer walkers that usual.  the playground was empty.  the college baseball team was playing on their field, but there were few people in the stands.  there was one other bike rider.  it is rare to see another bike rider in the park, so i guess someone else thought it was a perfect day to ride.  the sparsity of people made the park very quiet.

the only noise was that of the loud music that is usually played during the college baseball games and the sound of a passing train.  the music was not offensively loud  i could only hear it when i was near the baseball field where they were playing.  the train track is just across the road from the park, and when a train passes, the sound carries throughout that side of the park.  the sound of a train is one of the most pleasant sounds i know.  i grew up near a train track and always loved hearing the sound of the passing trains as i lay in my bed at night as a child.

there are my two impressions as i rode yesterday--a gentle cooling breeze and silence interrupted only occasionally by energetic music and the peaceful sound of a train passing.  could there be a more perfect bike ride?

my prayer for each of us today is that we enjoy some activity that takes away from the demands and stresses of our daily lives and transports to a place of peace and joy.

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