Tuesday, June 21, 2011

another anniversary

365 days ago I drank nothing after midnight, showed up in an office on the main floor at 9 am, handed over a thousand dollars as a down-payment, and was directed to a waiting room where I sat with two dozen others, waiting for my name to be called by a file-wielding, scrubs-clad worker bee. ten hours later, I left that building, groggy, nauseated, loopy, and titanium-enhanced.

to celebrate the fact that this event was now 365 days behind me, this morning I got on my bike and rode to paradise, with a little help from the incomparable van morrison.

the world is green and lush these days, coated with wildflowers dancing gently in the breeze, lifting their heads to the blue sky above. it's cool enough that the air tickles my skin and I'm grateful for the internal heat generated by the climb. when I reach the top of emigration and glance down to the reservoir I quickly look again: it isn't there. it is so smooth, so reflective that it appears the hillsides continue down deep, deep into a mirage of a verdant valley.
my heart soars.
I glide and swoop, pedaling to the still-locked gate that blocks the road up big mountain.
I've worn my ipod, and am listening to songs shuffling through in random order, everything from my daughters' taylor swift picks to the bare naked ladies to some guy I don't know singing about getting his dog back, his truck back, his first two jobs back, his wife back . . . all because he played a country song backward.
as I crest the top of little mountain again and begin my descent, I turn the volume up to compensate for the increased noise of the wind. after carving through the first switchback I realize I'm listening to van morrison, the third song of his I've heard on the ride. the tableau before me gradually shifts into one of my favorites: a green hillside dotted by only a few tiny roofs, a second ridge of mountain behind which is taller, browner, and holding on to rounded globs of snow here and there.

van sings, oh this must be what it's all about, this must be what paradise is like, so quiet in here, so peaceful in here . . .

it is paradise.

I am so grateful to be here that tears form, and a shiver runs across my body. through muscle and bone and skin, and titanium.

I, am one grateful human.

one long year, one quickly-passing year: I am so very grateful to be in one piece, to be able to pedal my legs around and round, to be able to drink in the astonishing beauty that surrounds us every day.

'nuf said.

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