Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yesterday, a past life

Writing about last night's ride I find I'm wistful, like thinking on home when I was out to sea. I lived an entire life in a matter of hours. Born on Llama, new to the world and without words for everything I saw and felt. A painful and awkward childhood climbing Broken Arrow, desperately unclipping and full-body dabbing, but learning through the struggle, growing stronger. Cresting Chicken Point I found the purpose in my life in the rusted panorama from the gently domed vortex. From there we descended, Jeff and I following Jason the way you follow your heart in love--without regard for personal safety. My tires hooked up to the trail and towed me over the beds of rock and soft dirt, down stone steps and alongside berms, through gullies and around switchbacks. The bike and I knew how to communicate with each other, we were working together to flow through each element, dropping and turning, spinning up a quick rise, kicking out to follow a line clean and wide into the trail's next verse. Back to the Bell Rock Pathway we made our bucket lists: HT, Templeton and secret trails, celebrating twilight and thinking nothing of the risks that only hours ago gave such pause. And each of us accepting that the ride would have to end, knowing that coming home again was what gave our ride meaning and just grateful we could share it with friends.

Sitting here in the Airstream with a bowl of oatmeal and some moody piano in my earbuds, my dog expecting a walk, I remember the sentry plants skyrocketing moonward from their yucca ancestors in pepper-shaped explosions of red and green, the ancient and wooly juniper sitting in silent council, the martian dust that still covers my derailleur and shoes and zipper teeth, the canyons and caves that promise infinity and mystery, that can't be explained simply by erosion, that are just as much the product of the gods' love and jealousy and mischief as wind and water and sand and time.