Thank you for bicycling today

musical accompaniment: That’s the Spirit by Tommy Emmanuel
In Corrales, New Mexico a roadside sign reads “Thank you for bicycling in Corrales”.  The Village of Corrales has taken careful consideration to arrange human activities on the land to work in congruence with the invisible forces of natural splendor.  The living that goes on here is intricately woven into the landscape.  The long rectangular bands of agrarian parcels stretching away from the Rio Grande contain a diverse mix of open fields adorned with stately horses and manicured crops including grapes, raspberries, and corn.  Elegant vine covered work sheds and adobe houses blend into the khaki colored landscape.  Silent and moving fluidly over the earth like water with such agility even smaller life forms such as caterpillars on the road can be respected, bicycles easily blend into this timeless scene.  A place like Corrales helps people discover a new kind of bicycling experience through the confluence of human life and landscape.  To take a bike ride in Corrales early in the morning and see the sunrise burst over the Sandia Mountains, chasing away the shadows and illuminating the long hill and fields, the animals slowly awakening, and people moving about tending to matters at hand and underfoot is to feel a physical grace and freedom of movement, a stronger connection to place through a higher awareness of being.  Bicyclists in Corrales know well “that the world surrounding us affects every aspect of our being, that far from being spectators of the world we are participants in it,” as geographer JB Jackson wrote.  Human life is anchored in biodiversity.  In Corrales this integration of human life in the terrascape is apparent and well acknowledged.  We depend on growing food and not just consuming it.  We depend on having places to live in that enliven the full extent of the human spirit in relation to all else that is.  The Village of Corrales provides a platform for human living without overtaking the greater landscape.  Therein lays the key for creating places that are productive in the broadest sense of opening opportunities to meet the whole spectrum of human needs.  This is a landscape, through its arrangement of smells, sights, sounds and rhythms, that grounds the individual while suggesting we are part of something greater than ourselves.  Bicycling in this delicious landscape evokes experiences that tell us more about what it means to be human moving through and enfolded in this beautiful world.  Bicycling in Corrales bestows us with knowledge while adding integrity to place.  It’s wonderful, try it!

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