We had work to do in the morning so after lingering in bed for a bit, we rose and got to it. I had some stories to frame for a trade publication, he had calls and in between working I did the laundry. The sun was fighting from behind the clouds and the weather called for a high of 69 so we decided we would quit around noon and enjoy the day.
Both of us have had things on our mind and the opportunity to call a day ours has been rare so Friday’s gifts were not unappreciated. Our individual businesses, learning to strengthen our partnership and marriage, the frightening political climate and its creating of an alter-reality has had us in between joy, anxiety and sadness. The life we share is good, but the big picture world is uncertain, our ideals about things we hold most dear shattered. Every social gathering touches upon this and it is important we talk and share and learn we are not alone, but it is also an intense burden that we are all learning how to carry with grace. We are all tired from fighting injustice and the moron that pretends to lead us and from the necessity of saying no, no this is not acceptable, so Friday we decided to say yes. Yes to us. Yes to what we have. Yes.
The prayer flags on our porch and the wild grass that borders our patio were beginning to blow and I worried for a minute that the wind was picking up, but we still went about the business of putting on our bibs and jerseys, grabbed some power food and water and set about to ride. Today was a gentle, easy, ride for Rob, but his easy rides are ones where I push myself just a bit.
Not too long after we left and turned to begin our first short climb, I was sweating and I felt the wind and I fought fear’s fingers. My heart picked up speed, but I took a deep breath because I know this is muscle memory and not reality, this is my body reminding me of that other time, the one where the wind shoved me a few feet into the road and the time when after fighting head, tail and cross winds, crazy winds that made no sense, I told my husband I was done and he rode back to get the car. After that, we argued about my need to take care of myself and his desire to ride and I cried and he felt badly and then we came closer once again to who we are, who we will be, in this marriage, as a couple, as best friends. The wind will always be unpredictable here in Colorado, and I’m trying to befriend her uncertainty and gain the strength to appreciate her playfulness, but my body reacts so quickly to her arrival that it takes time to lower the alert and trust in myself, trust in what I know, trust in what I want.
Rob can grow frustrated with my fear but he is learning patience with something he himself does not understand and today he made sure to stay at a pace I could keep up so I could find that beautiful pocket behind his wheel where the wind could not rock me. I love him for this, for the way he hears me and instead of telling me why I should not panic, his actions say, “I’m here.” His very presence lowers my heart rate and I ask him, “Is the wind really that bad or is it my panic?” and he tells me calmly, “It’s just because we are going faster that you feel it more,” and I loosen my hold and release the tension in my shoulders. I try to smile.
The ride feels good and when we return home, all sweaty and lightly touched by the sun, we sit on the porch and take off our shoes and decide to clean up and go for a motorcycle ride, the smell of the air seduces us with summer in March and the sun is bright and the pine trees in the mountains call us and I am feeling that loveliness again, the one of letting go, being in the moment, the one where every image shines like diamonds, almost hurting my eyes, and each inhale takes in life and joy and pain and we are moving fast on the motorcycle and yet time stands still, the memory encased in a space where all senses are engaged and I will not forget.
As we head higher, the temperature drops and the clouds block out the sun, but instead of feeling cold and asking Rob to stop so I can add layers and my scarf, I breathe in the sharp, clean air and feel ALIVE.
We ride through the mountains and then down Boulder Canyon, a ride I don’t think I could ever stop loving, ever stop feeling awe over, the light as it hits the canyon walls, the redness of the rock, the sharp angles and the organic way trees hold on in the craziest of ways, the climbers, the runners, the cyclists, the way the world comes together in a random moment and the way the road twists and turns–they fill, no they feed my soul. I smile.
We complete our day with a margarita on the outside patio of the Rio, bad margaritas and worse food, but blinding sunshine and people watching and then we walk the Pearl Street Mall holding hands before getting hungry for sushi. We share the chef’s choice of sashimi and the salmon is like butter.
Before heading home, we stop in my favorite place on the mall, the bookstore and though I have three books waiting at home to be enjoyed, I buy three more. There is pleasure in my hands as I hold each book and I anticipate the inevitable transportation of each story, the knowledge and awareness each one will heighten, the emotional journey I am sure to take and I smile. I know that when I get home, I will open each book, explore a page here and there and I will see which words speak the loudest to me at the moment and I will begin.
Our ride home is cold and when we hit the spot on South Boulder Road where the air smells like swamp and is at least 10 degrees cooler and moist, I smile again. It has been a very good day, a dance where we are perfectly in step, so familiar, and our feet are buoyant.
I smile. We are almost home.