Oh, summer has clothed the earth
In a cloak from the loom of the sun!
And a mantle, too, of the skies’ soft blue,
And a belt where the rivers run.
–from “In Summer” by Paul Lawrence Dunbar
Sure, summer has come and cloaked us and all, and here in Denver, the cloak is made of fire and heat.
I rode yesterday afternoon, up the Apex Trail near Golden. During the ride, the temp hovered at 99 degrees. Needless to say, I suffered. Though the occasional breeze–relatively cool, considering–once in a while descended upon me like a little angel of grace, and I made many prayers of thanks.
Perhaps riding is my religion, a devotional practice wherein I climb out of the daily world of need and emotion, letting such concerns fall away as I climb and descend. And perhaps I should give thanks for that more than I already do.
On the way up, I tried to look ahead and think of nothing but the fleeting and ephemeral breeze, my pedal strokes, the trail ahead. Occasionally, as it happens during such meditations, life crept in. That mean email someone sent this morning. The bank account and its anemia. My sick aunt, whom I adore. My kids and their obsession with vampires. If vampires are a metaphor for the current human and cultural condition–some of us do feed off others, and doesn’t that uncannily frame the current political discussion?
Those sorts of thoughts.
When it was only the trail that consumed my mind, I rode as if gravity were taking it easy on me, crunching up dusty, rocky sections and clearing them, turning sharply and calmly on switchbacks that require a tender and loving sense of balance.
Yes, summer is here. Time of heat. Time of leisure. Time to enjoy each moment.
Amen to that.