I’m wondering – who has dibs on the fresh air and the sunshine? How about the warmth of the sun in the bright blue sky above the winding river? I thought it was me, but some disagree.
Like the crow who scolded, “Caw, caw, caw,” from a tree top on my right as I pedaled through a wooded area. Around the next bend I received a similar reprimand from four handsome honkers swimming near the shore of the Red Lake River. They were very verbal. Hey guys, I said, simmer down. This land is your land and this land is my land.
I can only hope at some point to run into the old turtle I saw last summer. At least he didn’t chastise me.
I can’t begin to tell you how great it is to be back on my vintage Schwinn racking up miles on the bike paths. Perhaps the two word title of a new contemporary Christian song by Matt Maher says it best: “Alive Again.”
Each spring, all summer long and into fall, I am so grateful to whoever came up with the idea to build our bike paths after the Flood of 1997. Every time I can be out is a gift from the Creator who wraps each ride in such uniqueness by what I observe and by the friendly people I encounter.
My day was made complete one afternoon this week when I met up with two boys probably 11 or 12 years of age. Each had a tackle box in one hand and a fishing rod in the other. With their smiles and enthusiasm, they reminded me of my two sons.
It was obvious, but I had to ask. “Going fishing?” That they were!
We chatted a bit and one boy told me this was his first time out this spring. The other said he’d been fishing the day before and caught a catfish and a gold eye.
I didn’t ask the boys’ names, but I couldn’t resist asking about the beautiful black and white (mostly black) dog one had on a leash. His name, I was told, is “Lignite.”
Lignite couldn’t be still. He was wagging his tail at record speed and looking up at me as if to say, “They’re home from school, their going fishing and their taking me. Me! Can you believe it?” I didn’t hold the three up for long and we parted ways.
I spotted the tree fort built by a group of boys last summer. I remember hearing the delightful sound of their laughter as I rode by. To me, the only thing better than children’s laughter is to hear them singing. The fort boys called “Hi,” to me as I rode by last summer. Like the old turtle, I hope I see them again.
Looking up, I spotted a jet stream in the bright blue sky. Seeing that white line took me back to my childhood on the farm and the day I saw such a thing for the first time. I was at the clothes line and my first thought was that it was the end of the world and the earth was splitting in half. Not so and not yet, even after all these years.
My 5-year-old grandson visited from out of town in March. He didn’t know it as he spoke from his heart that he also was speaking from mine. He leaned back in his chair at the table, put his hands behind his head and proclaimed, “I sure do enjoy East Grand Forks. I have a room at home and I have one here.”
My biggest room this summer will be the great outdoors and the bike path – kids, crows, honkers, jet streams and all. It’s their land and it’s mine!