after midnight in the sunroom and gratitude
I was very, very late getting to bed last night - I wound up sitting in the sunroom with my beloved Gibson J-45 acoustic just playing and singing in one of those late night sessions where recently written stuff flows into the 30-year-old forgotten songs, on a night when I even broke out a plectrum a few times. Everyone else is living at my mother-in-laws while massive house renovation goes on, so I could throw my head back and howl where it was appropriate, free to dig in aggressively and really drive the soundboard hard. No recording, no thinking about what I was playing or any of that, I just went for the song and felt it, down to feeling the mahogany back of the Gibson vibrate against my ribs when I punched the lower notes. Then I looked at the time - 12:15 a.m. - and concluded it was time to crawl between the sheets, so I did.
I woke and lay in bed, thinking, "oh, I KNOW I can do this, but do I want to?" A glance at my phone and I realized I didn't have to just yet - it was only 4:00. I flopped back down till the alarm at 5:40, then had the same conversation again with myself about whether or not I really, really, REALLY wanted to go ride. In the end I did, and rose to the morning ritual of cycling clothes, cereal, shoes and out the door. I was running later than normal and didn't roll out until 6:15.
I was consciously praying little prayers the whole time I rode today, working on changing how I approach pretty much everything. Not so very long ago I would have rolled my eyes at the idea, or probably mocked it - I was once quite the mocker, and knowing there is forgiveness even for that is quite the blessing. But I worked on re-training my mind to work in quick prayers for people I passed by or thought of, no matter how fleetingly, because it works. It just works, and there is absolutely no use in trying to explain it, so I don't.
The sky was a leaden gray this morning, no spectacular sunrise - in fact, not much of a sunrise at all - but the Gitane was running smoothly and my legs felt pretty good. Once more, I nodded and smiled at the motorists around me and for the most part they responded the same way - and this is before coffee, too. There were no wild animal sightings on the rail-trail, though I did see the lady with the golf club at port arms - one definitely smiles and makes nice when one encounters her! - and as I pulled off, the couple I usually see walking was parking their car at the Florida Avenue end of the trail.
It occurred to me that next week will mark the 14th anniversary of my last bad bike wreck - on July 15, 2000, I had a clipless pedal spontaneously release at speed on a first issue Bianchi Pista and went over the bars, breaking a couple of ribs and turning my left side to hamburger for a week or so. Today the only signs of that are the absence of clipless pedals from my road bikes and the scars on the saddle I was using that day - which, oh yeah, I was riding today.
I quietly thanked God for a good morning and rolled on, sweeping around onto Phoenix Street for the last leg in. I saw a number of city employees in golf carts and exchanged greetings with them, turned out onto Main Street and truly wished I had my camera ready - it was the Golf Cart Armada, maybe a dozen or so of the things, full of city workers in day-glo yellow shirts on their way to set things up for the Festival of Discovery this weekend. It was like Myrtle Beach but with brighter shirts ...
Home then, home to shave and shower and prepare for work, feeling much lighter and fresher than I have any right to feel and being most grateful for it, as in - "This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." - Psalm 118:24.