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this is what we do

I bike around the lake nearly every day. It’s reasonably good exercise but I mostly do it for my spirit. I do it for the beauty and connection I feel. I do it for the way the light plays on the water, the ever-changing scents of the earth, water, plants and air. Sometimes the scents are very human like bacon from Beth’s cafe and exhaust but often they are just sublime nature smells.

I also bike for the rhythms of it. It’s an odd sort of constancy at a time in my life when I need to know something will just stay where it is while I figure out where I need to be. The lake is always there with smiling faces, crying babies, old people walking the entire lake with a walker and groups of fitness people doing whatever it is they do in groups.

There is also an odd mixture of order and chaos that is so alive there. Dogs and kids dart around, sometimes squirrels go running out in front of me, branches can fly down from trees on a windy day and people stop, sometimes in hordes, in the middle of the path. I somehow manage not to hit anyone and just go around them.

The order comes mostly from nature. The cycle of the seasons brings the changes we expect, now in spring the grass is coming up, men are fishing, turtles sun themselves on logs, green unfurls itself, flowers tight in the bud are bursting open and the birds are building their nests (while the hawks fly overhead hoping to spot exposed eggs).

There is another bit of order to it that I love. It is the decoration of this stump by a beautiful, bountiful and intrepid person(s). It is always in some state of entropy or creation. The four shots to the left were taken in a nine day period. Yes, it went from creation to destruction back to creation. Someone does that and every couple of days I stop by and admire it and always, I bless not only the person who did it but I take a moment to bless all beings because this is what we do: We keep going and keep creating beauty and meaning out of the chaos of life and I am honestly just so in love with humanity for this reason. We make epic mistakes, no doubt–collectively and individually–but we also do this.

Out of perfection nothing can be made. Every process involves breaking something up. The earth must be broken to bring forth life. If the seed does not die there is no plant. ~Joseph Campbell

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