And so I bike.
As I rode this year, I had a lot of time to think about my own body, its power and vulnerability, my ability to settle in for mile after mile. I'm in a sabbatical period right now and this spiritual discipline of running, swimming, biking and simply being consciously in my body is my primary focus. It stands in stark contrast to the pace I've been keeping for several decades now. And I'm in awe of what I'm noticing. I've watched as the deepest winter Minnesota has seen in years has transformed itself into iris and tulip, maple and birch. I've stopped to take in the grandeur of migrating snowy owls and bufflehead ducks on our thawing lakes. And I've noticed my own stamina and power mixed with weariness and penchant for discouragement.
I'm mindful that my body and the bodies of those I love have the capacity to be devastated and devastating; have the power to carry us mile after mile in the service of love and justice; have the desire to join in ecstasy; and can perpetrate unspeakable violence in the name of hatred. As I continue to seek to be in my body, to bike and run and swim, I'm deeply grateful for the time, for the capacity to see around me. And I'm mindful of the paradox these bodies present us with.
All of these reflections are exactly the kind of thing I used to talk with Amy about. Her absence from my life puts profound emphasis on the beauty and paradox of it all.