Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Riding Tandem With God

One of my favorite t-shirt designs
For the past 15 years or so I have made it a priority to take bike rides on Sundays.  Being raised by a "hippie" mom, religion was never a cornerstone in my life.  Instead, she talked to me about spirituality and let me wander and discover my own path (which led me to everything from synagogues to Quaker churches).   Since I was born into a Scandinavian family I ended up being baptized Lutheran, however, I can't remember the last time I've attended a Lutheran church service.
Although I would never consider myself religious, Sundays tend to be quite special for me.  It's a time when everything slows down.  Many stores are closed or at least don't open until noon, the roads don't see much traffic in the early morning and on the Sundays that the Packers play the entire state shuts down.  These things all make for great riding conditions. 

When I'm on a country road, amidst everything that nature throws at me, I find it hard to imagine there is anyplace that I could possibly be closer to God.  Now please note that when I use the word "God" I am probably not referring to it/him/her the same way most people do.  I use this word to refer simply to something/some being that connects all of nature together.  I have no preconceived notions of what God may be and have absolutely no attachment to one belief or another.  I choose to use the word mainly to put a title to a feeling and have a word to connect with other people.  Often times my rides lead me past country churches.  I find these small white buildings with towering steeples quite beautiful and can understand why people are drawn to them. I'm just not sure if being in a climate controlled building on a beautiful summer day would make me feel closer to "God's creations".  As a child I remember going to Sunday services once in awhile and feeling extremely fidgety.  I would try to get glimpses of the outside world through the stained glass windows and would count down the minutes until I could go out and play.  Stepping out of the church, I would take a deep breath and finally feel relaxed and at peace.  Now, riding on Sundays, I feel more connected to everything around me and possibly more spiritual then I've ever felt.  As I pull up to my house after a particularly good ride I feel cleansed or possibly even baptized.  Everything seems clear and I am usually calm and grounded.

So for me, I choose my bike saddle over a pew.  I try to capture that connected feeling every time I ride, not just on Sundays, and I thank whatever force created the beauty I see on my rides as often as possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment