saturday's weather forecast was full of bluster: windy, afternoon thunderstorms, an 80% chance of rain, likely to be heavy.
we planned a ride up a canyon, of course, and timed it so that we'd hit the top of the canyon right around noon.
need I say we got rained on?
it started about halfway up---mile marker 8---big cottonwood canyon, the way it usually does: a few drops, a splatter here and there, then a bit more consistently, until suddenly it's pelting your helmet and glasses and you are thoroughly wet. by mile marker 11 each pedal revolution was a squish and I had to shake my head regularly to throw pooling water off.
silver fork lodge sits at mile marker 13: our sopping group decided we could push on that far, then have a bite to eat and warm up before heading back down, forgoing our goal of riding all the way to brighton.
not too far past mile marker 12 the rain eased back a bit,
and while we were inside getting our water bottles filled---the restaurant was closed for a private wedding---the rain changed into a fine mist.
we voted to head up another mile and a half to solitude ski resort and find fare there . . . and before we were too far up the road the mist disappeared and we began to dry out.
all around us were clouds, thick, gray, heavy with moisture, below us all the way down the canyon and above us hanging thickly over the forested hillsides of brighton ski resort.
and we could feel the warmth of the sun as it heated the clouds and pressed down on us.
it felt like the eye of the storm: all of us safe and warm, riding up the road, having survived the tempest below and slowly approaching the tempest above.
a breath, a break, a chance to revive and prepare for what was yet to come.
yesterday I rode up emigration into a typical headwind, hearing the whistle in my helmet and the gentle roar against my ears.
and then I didn't.
all was quiet, for a moment, and I looked about in wonder at the absence of sound.
an intake of breath
before the wind blew once again.
a pause. an inhalation. the eye of the storm. an oasis.
if life were nothing but a constant uphill, a never-ending rainstorm, a perpetual struggle, an unvarying path, we would all find our journeys to be more difficult.
I need pauses. change. variety.
I need to inhale deeply, then exhale down to my core, then breathe again.
the eye of our storm opened widely enough for me to get home saturday without another drenching.
and the pause while yesterday's wind took a breath gave me strength to batten down for its next exhalation.
a pause. an inhalation. eyes of storms, oases, refuge, respite: opportunities to reconnect with the core of courage and strength that lies somewhere deep within, always waiting, knowing that eventually the world must inhale.