What You Are Now

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Sometimes I pedal around town on my bike meditating. The alleys, the streets, even the funky traffic patterns are as familiar as my hands. I’ve lived in dozens of locations and left my DNA all over the place. It’s my town.

God rides along wearing my memories; scarves and beads, seven chickens, a hundred trees. I try to accept the shocking truth that the world goes on without me, but I resent it. God is relatively gentle about this, pointing out how tall the trees have grown.

“What good are these damn memories?” I ask as they pelt me like sheets of sudden rain. I’m drenched. Shivering. Sad. The bygone days are a howling pack of coyotes; phantoms that leave teeth marks, longings without names.

“Not everything is good in isolation,” God says. “You’re not what you remember.”

“Oh, thanks.” My voice drips with sarcasm. “That helps a lot.”

“It will,” God says. “Give it time.”

I stop the bike and sit on the curb beside a large mound of fallen leaves. I remember crawling under a pile like this. October. Centuries ago. But the sound of the rain on the brittle leaves was yesterday. It occurs to me that I would like to be buried in a pile of leaves, here on a side street, in a ceremony so quiet no one is inconvenienced in the least.

“You already are,” God says. “C’mon. Let’s ride. I’m getting restless.”

“Fine,” I say. We pedal toward a steep hill and begin the climb, me seeking perspective, God enjoying the ride. I’m so easily seduced by the idea of my own importance, sucked into the undertow of imagined glory. The view helps. I watch the little city move itself here and there as I catch my breath. Then I turn the bike around. The downhill stretch is littered with rocks and potholes, but my tires are full and the light is good.

God and I gather speed as we cruise back into the thick of it. I think to myself, it’s probably after 3 already, but I check my watch. It’s nearly 5. Too many young people smile at me. Newer model cars zip by. My brakes squeak, and my resolve weakens, but I find solace in the alleys. Discarded grace, throw rugs, pottery, and a pile of sticks for firewood.

God hops off. A thousand wings begin designing the sunset dipping liberally into orange and magenta. I strap the rugs and pottery on my bike, drape the grace around my shoulders, and make a mental note to pick up the firewood later. I wonder if I’ll remember. I wonder if it matters. I wonder whose elongated evening shadow is peddling ahead of me. It’s vaguely familiar, but God is right; I’m not what I remember.

6 thoughts on “What You Are Now

  1. Nice piece this morning. -the pile of leaves-I recall burning them as kids.

    Went to a local All Saints Night last evening. In the past this event has been pretty cool, but last night’s was kind of a flop. It did give me a moment to grieve the friend we lost recently-I just sobbed in a dark corner, it was good, and private. His memorial service was wonderful, I’m told. It was the weekend I was there for tippetrise.

    One poster last night, at a native American table, said something like “children should be taught that the soil they walk upon is the dust of their ancestors”, or something like that. I liked it. Perhaps we should all be mindful that the soil upon which we walk is the dust of our ancestors.

    Also forgot to tell you about my new approach to avoid window strikes, or maybe I did and forgot to bring the pen. Anyway, the pen is white and sticks to glass-prob the same stuff they put on used car windows. Next time I get something from Amazon I’ll order some and send you one. Plenty of time now. So I draw verticle lines 4 inches (or 3 1/4) apart. Easier than the “zen curtains”. If you don’t like it you can easily scrape it off, I have 4 windows protected with this technique now. None have had a bird strike.

    On Sun, Nov 10, 2019 at 10:02 AM Short visits with an honest God wrote:

    > Rita Sommers-Flanagan posted: ” Sometimes I peddle around town on my bike > meditating. The alleys, the streets, even the funky traffic patterns are as > familiar as my hands. I’ve lived in dozens of locations and left my DNA all > over the place. It’s my town. God rides along wearing my m” >

    Liked by 1 person

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