My places of worship are the trails along the water,
those that are under a canopy of trees that snake past rivers and lakes
and through overpasses where I can see the sun reflected in the water
while white swans gently swim in pairs.
My devotion comes in the form of sweat, hard breathing and a racing heart
as I push myself to pedal through the pain
and climb the inclines of the mountain trails.
I have ridden with white tail deer that bound into the woods and red cardinals that
swoop across the trail, past trees felled into the lake by beavers and barely missing
chipmunks and squirrels as they bound across the trail.
By the the time I get to my destination I am centered, in flow, and in sync with the
wonders of nature.
And then service is over and I return to the world of pain and suffering.