Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives. It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment. We also gain immediate access to our own powerful inner resources for insight, transformation, and healing.
~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
This morning at sunrise it was dewy with ground fog stretching horizontally throughout the meadows. The fog and the blooms of the mallows are signaling that autumn isn’t too far off, but the heat and steaminess are pure summer.
Knowing it wasn’t going to get any cooler, I took off early on my bike for a short (7.4 miles) ride around the neighborhood. It’s not really a neighborhood, of course, because I live in The Middle of Nowhere and while there are houses dotted here and there, mostly the roads wind their way past woods, meadows, marshes, and farm fields where the corn and soybeans are nearing their harvest time.
In one of last week’s postcards (this one), I mentioned sitting on the dock and watching a crop duster fly by. I didn’t see the crop duster today, but I did go past the fields that were being dusted last week.
The roads here are lined with ditches, and the ditches are currently lined with mallows in bloom. You might know them as hibiscus or marshmallow or any of a bunch of other names. There are big blooms and small blooms, pink blooms and white blooms.
The same ditches are lined with daylilies during the early summer months. In the spring, it is usually along the top of the ditches that I find the first spring wildflowers blooming.
I was surprised to see a magnolia still in bloom. Did you know magnolias were around before bees? One theory is that they evolved to encourage beetles to pollinate them. Perhaps that explains the thick, tough leaves.
This particular magnolia is one of the largest magnolia trees I’ve ever seen. It is located just past the cornfields pictured above, in a wooded area off to the right.
I like passing through the wooded areas where the trees almost form an arch over the road, and shade me from the harsh August sun. After pedaling past the fields where the heat can be almost overwhelming, entering the shadiness of the woods is like stepping into an air conditioned room.
A friend asked why I’d think such a hot and steamy day was a good day for a bike ride. Normally I avoid exercising in this type of weather, but a bicycle is a good way to get some exercise when it’s hot because you carry your own breeze with you. Mother Nature provided a breeze off the water, too, so it wasn’t truly awful, but I did drink most of the water I carried with me. It is important to stay hydrated when out and about in the heat.
I didn’t take a lot of photos. Just a few so I could bring back some flowers. There were many other things besides flowers (and crops and woods) to see. Indigo Buntings flying over the cornstalks. Crabs painted on the roads for the cyclists that enter the Soft Shell Metric Century held in the spring. A big splash of the paint used for the crabs in the middle of the road where someone must have spilled it. Laughing Gulls flying over the creek. People fishing on the bridge that goes over the creek. A wild turkey crossing the road. (Doesn’t that make you want to ask, “Why did the turkey cross the road?” The answer, of course, is that it was the chicken’s day off!)
Thank you for joining me on another bike ride. As I mentioned earlier, it was short. I’m glad I got out there before the worst of today’s heat arrived.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
Today’s joys: An early morning bike ride; time to stop and look at the flowers; the perfume of the dried lavender I picked from my garden and put in the guest room; an interesting morning meditation; picking up two books from the library and the anticipation that comes with wanting to read them.