in my heart, in my soul, I am a writer. a storyteller, I like to believe. very little fulfills me more than the actual process of writing, especially when I am in depth of my thrall in it all. it's said that you've found your true place when you are outside of time's strict boundaries while there: when I am deeply involved in a writing project time has no meaning, the words just flow through me as if given by one outside of me, and I feel I'm in complete harmony with the world.
I love to write.
I haven't been involved in a project for the past few months, and the resulting ache pulls at me. I want to be back in that place of synchronicity and bliss.
so this morning---after my demanding (me demanding of myself) ride to little dell and back---I decided to use this desire to write, and tell the story of last saturday's ride. although I'll share many things here, I've held back on some very personal things because they're, well, deeply personal. but it's time to tell the tale.
like all good stories, it begins with once upon a time.
once upon a time there was a boy who met a girl. they dated, they separated, they found their way back to each other. they separated again, and found themselves together again. no fighting, no drama, just plateaus and personal growth that ebbed and flowed.
then came the day the two of them decided they were ready to stay together without further parting, that they had climbed past the plateaus and knew how to stay on life's ridgeline. ups, downs, rough terrain, smooth: a ridgeline is not always an easy place. but it's possible to live life balancing up there on the top edge.
so the boy divined a way to show the girl just how much he loved her.
he let her arrange a bike ride with her friends, then planted cairns along the way, markers that let her know he supported and loved her and would always be there for her.
at the top of little mountain, he set up a table with white linen cloth, a vase of lilies, a jug of water, packs of shot-bloks (electrolyte treats), and a scrolled up note telling her that lilies represent hope.
at the top of big mountain, he set up the same table with cloth, lilies, water, a bunch of perfectly colored bananas, and a scrolled up note telling her that lilies represent commitment.
at the east canyon resort store, well, he got caught. she descended a bit too quickly and caught him in the parking lot, where he handed her an envelope with snack money in it and a scrolled up note telling her that lilies represent friendship.
when she returned home after her ride, another table greeted her in her house, one with a huge bouquet of lilies, a diet coke can resting on ice, and another note telling her that lilies represent intimacy . . . and that he'd see her at 6:15 to take her out to dinner.
when he arrived to pick her up, he brought the display he'd decided not to leave at a spot during her ride home: a box of chocolate turtles with a can of escargot on top and a note that lilies represent fun.
(one of her favorite jokes is about what the snail says as it's riding on the turtle's back.)
when he picked her up for dinner, he drove her back up emigration canyon first, up to the top of little mountain where another white-draped table sat, this one holding a bucket of champagne on ice, two glasses, a vases of lilies, and a small box.
when he asked her to spend the rest of her life with him, she said yes.
so.... the snail says wheee!
and that is my new response to those who might ask how I feel about getting married and spending the rest of my life with john. cycling has taught us both a lot about hills and valleys, about effort, about tenacity and perseverance. about the rewards of hard work, about support, about the joy of swooping. about falls, crashes, healing. about balance.
and we're ready.