23 September 2008

Just another day in paradise

After class this morning, I shuffled back to the squad and changed into bike gear: I had three hours before lunch, plenty of time for a ride.

So I rolled down out of USAFA, out into the foothills. I felt like a fugitive, rolling out of the gate during the school day. But I had plenty of time and nothing to do, so why not ride up and down hills for an hour and a half?

Off base, I climbed into the foothills for a good seven miles, rolling through suburbs and forests, past ranches and ranch houses. I saw an old man trek up the hill to his mailbox, carefully place a letter in, and carefully make his way back down to the house.

As I rolled past, I caught his smell: that familiar and comforting smell that grandparents seem to acquire. As I rode on, I wondered: who are this man's grandchildren? Who was his letter to? And what was he like when he could run up the hill to the mailbox? Maybe I'll see him again.

When I topped out on the climb, I turned back towards the mountains and flew down into the valley. Rolling at forty or so, I looked up at Pikes, topped with snow, and at the pines that lined the road. Our God is an awesome God.

And then I rode back up onto the hill, showered, and called minutes for lunch, refreshed and sore, calmed and excited.

When can I do it again?

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