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A view of the DuPage River from the trail, taken last Friday afternoon.


There is something richly sublime about mountain biking, valuable to me more than the exercise and physical health that riding a bike brings.  This time of year, I find myself stopping to take in the woods and scenery more than ever, the same trails a totally different place now that the leaves have dropped.  Mixed with the rush and thrill of bombing into ravines, hopping a log, jumping a berm is the beauty of a place that often seems like it is made for me alone.

VZM.IMG_20171208_151928Thank you, God.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  God reminds me of his blessings each and every day, more evident to me even more in this season of my life, overwhelming when I am surrounded by the wonder of creation.  As I took the pictures that are shared in today’s entry, I literally was driven to my knees in joyous tears.  Is it because I have more to be thankful for right now, I asked, or is it because I am simply more aware?  My heart danced as I laughed out loud in the quiet peace of the woods, happy to enjoy the moments that God was giving to me.

VZM.IMG_20171208_151836Friday’s ride was all downhill or so it seemed.  Believe me, it’s not.  The trail system that I ride regularly is a booger for even a rider with advanced skills, downright scary for newbies.  There was a lightness for me, a fresh heart, an energy that made every challenge to the trail easy.

VZM.IMG_20171208_151854I took these pictures because I wanted to share my favorite place with a new friend, someone who is touching my heart, one of those blessings that helps me see the world like I see the world in those woods.  I sent the pictures to her, let her know that I am thinking of her, then climbed back on my bike for two hours of trail bliss.  Our relationship is as new as the breathless views through leafless trees that I experienced Friday.  I am content.  I have hope.

I rode until the light was too dim in the woods to see the trail.  The beauty of the woods, the quiet, is as peaceful as can be that time of day.  While I slept Friday night, it snowed, my thankfulness amplified knowing that I had taken advantage of the last day to ride outside for a while.