The riding around Albuquerque reminds me of Eddie Van Halen’s Cathedral
There was snow falling up above 8,000 feet today on the Sandia Mountains. As I was approaching the Balsam Grade through Las Huertas Canyon I was needled by luminous pellets sweeping down on an arc of gravity and wind. I went ahead and kept riding, against the best advice most would have given me. But today it worked out OK because I used caution and was well prepared with thick jacket, warm gloves, and covers for my head and shoes. The forest smells alive when wet, scents of pine bark, new leaves and soils intermingling. The folds of the canyons and distant mesas took on a spectral look with the darkening weather moving in.
The forest workers have been out cutting downed trees. I remember reading “A Wind-Storm in the Forests” by John Muir. He actually goes out because there is a storm blowing in. Muir climbs a spindly pine tree to the top, and rides its swaying motion through the fiercest part of the storm. I guess taking the wind blasts and sting of sleet on my face coming through Tijeras Canyon is intense enough for me. But the plate of pinto beans and corn chips I pulled from the toaster oven when I got home tasted delicious. Especially with fiery hot red chili flakes.
Today as I held the handlebars I meditated on Luther Standing Bear’s example from his Land of the Spotted Eagle. “We never railed at the storms, the furious winds, and the biting frosts and snows. To do so intensified human futility, so whatever came we adjusted ourselves, by more effort and energy if necessary, but without complaint.” I was silent most of the day and happy to be so. I just focused and rode. What a joy to ride around Albuquerque.
References: Luther Standing Bear quoted from Literature and the Environment: A Reader on Nature and Culture. edited by Lorraine Anderson, Scott Slovic, and John P. O’Grady. 1999.
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