Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Beside Still Waters

What is it about still water that is so restful? Is it awareness of the violent potential of a whitewater river or stormy sea? Is it the absence of telephones and email? Either way, viewing an expanse of still water is good medicine.

I rolled out this morning into a spectacular spring day. Unlike my previous post, color is tossed liberally around like some hysterical artist with paint to waste. It is still, 55 degrees, and only the last remnants of fog are slumbering in the low spots. A fairly strong south wind is predicted. Not a problem, today's route is east/west.

(Since my bride left town with the camera, the photo is missing. This is the spot where I would have inserted the photo of purple and white tree blooms, green leaf buds, green grass, and bluish wildflowers. This isn't television, use your imagination.)

Isle Du Bois Park is located at the east end of the Lake Ray Roberts dam. My route, consisting primarily of low traffic secondary roads is about 23 miles one-way. With a small lunch and an emphasis on "no-hurry", I spin easily over the rolling landscape.

(Imagine here a photo of an up-and-down roadway profile on a ridge line with rolling pastures in the distance. Note the absence of traffic.)

I arrive and notice the breeze is coming alive, and it is much warmer. I shed a layer of wool and enjoy shorts and sunshine. I sit on a rock beside the lake. Rest replaces a rushed routine and I wonder, for a moment, what I'm missing at work. It can wait. Like the early morning fog, my stress evaporates. Can these loose and lazy legs pedal me home?

(This is where my photo of the shimmering lake would be. Knowing me, I'd probably find a way to get my bicycle in the frame somewhere...like there on the left. Peaceful, isn't it?)

With a few revolutions, the muscles awake. That's a good thing since exiting the park requires a little climbing. The wind picks up even more and the temperature climbs. Last week, 36 degrees and rain. Today, shorts, t-shirt, and sunburn.

(Here's the climb up away from the lake and toward the park headquarters. Even farther, way back there in the background, is the park exit. These climbs never look as steep in the photos. Frustrating.)

I return home physically fatigued, mentally refreshed, and spiritually grateful. So it is when bicycling to a still water retreat.

I am unusually blessed.


  1. This has got to be one of the best bicycling blog posts ever. No pictures needed. With your calming words, descriptions, and my imagination the scenery came to life for me. What a nice meditation!

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Doug. I've got good news. Spring is on its way. Get that new bike ready.

  3. I'm working on it. Spring doesn't arrive until May this far north. Leaves and spring flowers come out mid to late May. Not complaining..just sayin'.