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My first thought when I woke up at 8 a.m. the other morning was about how badly I wanted coffee. My second thought was to go for a bicycle ride - something I hadn't done in a while. I made a pot of coffee, got dressed and then went outside to turn on the sprinklers and soaker hose around the house. I opened the garage door and pulled my bike from semi-retirement, dusted off the cobwebs and aired the tires.

After going back into the house to have my first cup of coffee, I went outside and climbed on my bike. I set out at an easy-going pace down the street. I didn't have a clear destination but decided I would go to the hike and bike trail. As I pedaled I was reminded once again how great the invention of the bike is--some leisurely turns of the pedals and I'm flying across pavement and sidewalks, propelled by my own power.

The morning was surprisingly cool, the sky was blue and I could smell the neighbor's freshly mown grass as I cycled by. I thought of Fall and relief from the drought we've been going through and wondered; will it ever rain?

The little girl in me came out as my bike tires rolled down into the drainage- ditch-shortcut I used to get to the trail. I used to pretend I was Evil Knievel when I was young. I would pedal at break-neck speed (well, as fast as my skinny little 7-year-old legs could go) through ditches and trails; it was one of my greatest joys. My brothers and sisters and I would ride bikes from sunrise to sunset in the summertime, taking breaks only to dash to the bathroom or grab a drink or sandwich. Then it was back to the bikes and our adventures.

I rolled up the other side of the drainage ditch and onto the hike and bike trail and then slowly rode across the foot bridge that spans a larger drainage ditch between two neighborhoods. I could hear wind chimes; deep, mellow notes. The wind was blowing through sycamore and oak trees in the back yard ahead. I stopped my bike, got off and stood there on the bridge, just listening. It occurred to me that I don't do that enough lately - stop and experience nature, soak in the beauty of sounds and scents, feel the the wind on my face.

I've felt irritable and confused lately with all of my thoughts swirling around in different directions. I believe my restless spirit is telling me to make time for bike rides, star gazing, meditation, picnics. Life is flying by too quickly and it will continue that way if I don't stop and be in the moment. I am fifty-three this month and who knows how long I will get to enjoy this wonderful life God has given me?