I clap my hands in infinite joy and amazement, before the first opening to me of this august magnificent, old with the love and homage of innumerable ages, young with the life of life, the sunbright Mecca of the desert. And what a future it opens! I feel a new heart beating with the love of the new beauty. I am ready to die out of nature, and be born again into this new yet unapproachable America I have found in the West. –Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Experience”
I cycle up into the high country
From a city at the edge of where the mountains touch down
Rising above the Río Grande’s winding course through the green center of town
At the top of the Sandias filling my water bottles
People approach me shining with lively curiosity
Conversation flows easily on this August day
Where did you start from? How long did it take?
From home, not too long, you can do it too!
One foot after the other, eat, drink, be comfortable, take your time
And marvel at how cycling activates our care and joy
The fire inside us flowing upward like an awakening volcano
We see the world with new eyes rediscovering beautiful America