As I often do and as I did several times this week, I got on my bike and went for several long rides to clear my mind, get a good workout, and get some fresh air. I had to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather we've been having this time of year as it will be to cold for me to take the bike out in the next few weeks. Tuesday struck me as a little different from my typical rides though. I went on a twenty-four mile ride through St. Paul and Minneapolis and back to St. Paul with one of my good buddies in tow and I let my play list from my iphone and emotions dictate my tempo through the streets as I bobbed and weaved through traffic.
About twenty minutes into the trip It's as if I suddenly became aware. The air went still, and I heard no other sounds except for snippets of my music. Typically I can hear the music and hear the outside noise as well, but not this time. I began to notice all the beauty in the landscape I was surrounded by. All of a sudden the mundane colors that made up the buildings and roads that I was breezing through became vibrant, radiant, and exuded so much character. The headlights and brake lights on the cars and busses that I rode next to or passed and the stop lights that I biked through seemed to sparkle just that much more, seemed to carry on a life of themselves and blended into this grandiose landscape yet were able to keep their individuality all at the same time. I'm not sure if any of this makes any sense to any of you that may be reading this as I know I'm not the greatest writer in the world, but I'm telling you, I was seeing and feeling this living painting that I was taking part in at the same time.
It was simply gorgeous. The burn in my legs from pedaling the numerous hills that go from downtown to uptown seemed to dissapear. The slight chill in the air vanished and I remember unzippening my body suit half way as I rode because I no longer felt cold. I was alive in this living, breathing canvas and it felt perfect. Road zen, nirvana, whatever you want to call it. I felt like I was at peace and one with my environment. The lines in the road resembeled bright yellow and white borders of paint, perfectly dividing the pavement. The rich dark color of the newly laid road was an amazing contrast from that of the old grey road filled with pot holes that I had to dodge miles back.
In moments like this, where I could truly take note and become one with the natural beauty around me, I could feel every particle of air as it entered my nose, traveled down to my lungs and every bit of carbon dioxide as it exited my mouth. Every note from my music blared through with such richness to provide a soundtrack for this adventure that I was on. I only wish I could have had video of this ride or pictures, but I'm sure that it wouldn't have come close to what I was seeing and feeling. It simply wouldn't have done the natural canvas I was riding through any justice. Finally I knew what It meant to be caught in a situation where I was witnessing a beautiful moment that could not last, yet If I were to take a still of that moment, the beauty would be diminished. Either way that moment and experience, that beauty, would be no more once the ride ended.
All I was left with was the ability to appreciate the moment while I rode through the canvas. Even now, trying to describe it I'm simply underscoring it's significance but I figured it would be nice to share to those who have never experienced such a thing. I also wouldn't be honest if I didn't admit to the fact that I was also hoping to relive it while writing this post. All I know is it was one hell of a ride and it enabled me to see one of the most amazing, living paintings I can remember seeing and being apart of.