Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Downhill Ride

 Have you ever ridden a mountain bike down a mountain or even a steep rocky path on a hill? Instinct tells you that you need to grip the handle bars, squeeze your legs against the seat and body of the bike, just hang on and go for it. If you do, odds are you will find yourself hugging the dirt and rocks. You cannot trust your instinct. Your instinct will have to learn to trust you. You ride down a mountain standing on the pedals not sitting. You ride down a mountain standing on pedals that are not very big and they turn with the movement of your feet. You ride down a mountain standing on the pedals, knees bent acting like shock absorbers and your upper body leaning into the downward ride.

 Once your body feels this position and expels the fear, because it is absorbing the shocks and you are still upright, your instinct learns. Next time when you start careening down the mountain you do not have to think. Any time your ride takes you down the rocky downward slope of a mountain your body naturally, instinctually stands on the pedals, knees bend absorbing the shocks and you lean into the downward slope. Instinct tells you. And, since you do not have to think anymore, all you feel is the exhilaration, the wind, and yes, perhaps, sometimes, the insanity of what you are doing. But, it is ever so grand.

Some mountain bikers will actually ride their bikes up the mountain. Others will drive up to the mountain top and remove their bikes from their vehicles and make the journey. The goal, the purpose of the ride is to go downhill, to go down the mountain, to follow gravity and defy the obstacles placed in your way.  Defiance is often rewarded with bruises, cuts and broken bones. Each scar becomes a war story, a ‘hey remember when…?”  story when you gather with others who appreciate riding downhill.

I think it is time to go mountain bike riding.  It has been a while. I know the mountain, it is called Hope.  The path is Life. The rocks, trees, carved trenches and other obstacles are all the things that sent me to the mountain top in the beginning; safer up there, quieter, and the air is so much cleaner. It’s time to go downhill. To stand on the pedals of belief, bend the knees of my heart and lean into the gravity of love and service pulling me down.  Oh keeper of my heart and breath, band- aids packed? Time to ride.