Saturday, July 30th, 2016
I start when the crickets are in concert and when the owl can be heard, but not seen. It’s true. I can never discern which tree he’s perched upon when I begin those early steps before dawn cracks. Sometimes I become oblivious to sound, to the point where I’m convinced there is no sound outside of my murmuring mantras before the tree residents show presence. I feel it’s so silent that I start to hear human voices in the distance.
In this case at 4:33 am, as I was leaving the quaintness of town Perry, I did hear voices—real ones. Quite early for cyclists!” I thought. But there they were, and there they went. Two women, helmeted for safety, with bikes lit for any objects ahead.
So I became an object, and not one to be objected to. We all share the trail here. That is the culture established on the Raccoon River Valley Trail. On Saturday hundreds of cyclists tread the trail. All other creatures cross, or crawl, or hop, or fly, or leap the trail. Rabbits, chipmunks, skunks, coyotes and more make their move. No, I haven’t seen a raccoon yet, strange as it is.
Those that don’t have the capacity to move, but stand gloriously as they offer their looks, smells and tastes. Blackberries, wild plumbs, choke-cherries, apples, mulberries, elderberries, and all herbal wonders line this path. There’s a serious community present. And the cyclists? They move fast but are ever courteous about space.
They, the cyclists, runners and walkers, I’m convinced, are the happiest people. Line them up against a wall of motorists and they’re no comparison.
May the Source be with you!