9. The Answer

I love to ride my bike down the beautiful Wildcat Canyon Road not far from where I live in Northern California. There is a purity in the clean morning air, and an almost sacredness in the stillness at sunrise. I love the rhythm of the pedal strokes, the hard work of the climb, and the thrilling rush of the downhill descent with the wind roaring in my ears. I love feeling strong and so alive, and the wonder of muscle and bone and blood and air, combining with mind and will in such an amazing way, and the whole incredible miracle that is mortal life. I am so glad to be here, and so grateful to be so amazingly blessed.

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein; then shall all the trees of the woods rejoice.”            Psalms 96, 11-12

At times like this I feel an almost overwhelming desire to give something back to God. And yet I know I have nothing else to give God but my life. My life is God’s; my gift to God,  with all my love and with all my heart, and I try to make it a joyful gift.

I have come to understand my own simple strength, and I accept it as right and true. I am not a genius or a great talent, or even a special person. I am willing to follow my own path and no other. I am willing to do my part. I am ready to do whatever is mine to do, and to share my gifts, whether they are big or small.

All these thoughts and many others flow through my mind as I ride the canyon road. I am flying through the fresh cool morning air, with all that clean oxygen flooding my lungs, and all that exhilarating freshness flooding my senses. I love the feeling of the rush of wind past my body as I ride, and the whispering green life all around me. As the small sounds of morning begin to stir, the trees come alive with bird songs. The air is alive, the sky is alive, birds are singing, and blue and yellow wildflowers at the roadside, each one a splendid little miracle, are blooming, dancing in the wind, rejoicing. I am not separate from any of  it; we are all one thing: we are Life, and I breathe all this beauty deeply into my body and into my soul.

My bike rides are my truest meditations; they have become for me a spiritual practice, and I have ridden the canyon road for more than 25 years. Often I go there troubled and confused, but in a while that lifts and fades, and I begin to feel myself, and my spirit, opening. I start to feel an inexpressible joy and peace as I sail along through the canyon, soundlessly up and down the rolling hills and turns, with the vast sweep of green landscapes gliding by me, and all of God’s creation singing, singing for pure joy. Tears fill my eyes and spill over, blown back into the flying wind as I ride. A flash of knowing – not just an understanding but a knowing so deep and vast and simple. I am beauty, I am joy, I am glory. I know the answer to all of the questions of the universe, and the answer is Yes.

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