This is Not a Race

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A 44 seat bike – Russell,  Manitoba

This is a cycling tour.

No time trials to qualify

No carbon fibre needed

This is not a race.

 

This is a cycling tour.

Prudent to train ahead of time

No risk of being disqualified

This is not a race.

 

This is a cycling tour.

Giving fellow rider support

With flats or worse

This is not a race.

 

This is a cycling tour.

Time for a photo op

Pausing for a leisurely break

This is not a race.

 

This is a cycling tour.

Compassion for the poor

With tangible results

This is not a race.

 

This is a cycling tour.

The fastest cyclists

take bragging rights

The strongest cyclists

get the best SAG treats

The fittest cyclists

get the best campsites.

The strongest cyclists

whiz by the others

Those with the ultra-light bikes

Oh wait, who said, “This is not a race?”

 

Ghost Cyclist

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Got my back

Cycling across Canada

Rough roads and smooth

Ghost cyclist guiding me through.

 

Cycling up the Rocky Mountains

Reaching greater heights in Rogers Pass

Ghost cyclist urging me up and over.

 

Cycling across the vast prairies

Crosswinds tossing me side to side

Ghost cyclist steadily leaning into the wind.

 

Cycling into a strong headwind

Pedaling hard looking to draft

Ghost cyclist pushing me forward.

 

Cycling through hamlets and towns

Heavy traffic and quiet roads

Ghost cyclist right with me.

 

Cycling in the drizzle and rain

Looking to stay dry and warm

Ghost cyclist has me covered.

 

Cycling day after day moving east

Loving the thrill of the tailwind

Ghost cyclist moving with me.

 

Cycling in the sun and heat

Longing for shade and relief

Ghost cyclist provides the block.

 

Cycling from Pacific to Atlantic

Great ride, greater cause

Ghost cyclist got my back.

 

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Cycling to end poverty

Sharing a spirit of generosity

Ghost cyclist helping reach our goal.

———- ———-

Credits:

Tandem – Brenna & Missy

Pictured – Russ & myself

Location – on the road

Aboriginal Blessing

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Memorial of the mix between Methodist church and First Nations  people

Traditional and unceded territories

Being the long term stewards

First Nations people who lived here

Never claiming ownership

 

Traditional and unceded territories

Their own land but not owned

Their own land but not claimed

Welcoming migrants to share the land

 

Traditional and unceded territories

Assisting struggling migrants

Hospitality from the heart

Gradually betrayed

 

Traditional and unceded territories

Their land usurped by migrants

No reservation about stripping the resources

Making reservations for aboriginals

 

Traditional and unceded territories

Second class citizens, barely a voice

Object of a legislated apology

Subject to government decisions

 

An aboriginal blessing bestowed on us

As we prepared to cycle through varied landscapes

Valleys, Rivers, Meadows, Ravines, Peaks

A prayer for each person

 

Each day we honour the nation

Whose land we cycle through

Remembering the history of

Traditional and unceded territories.

 

When will we return the blessing

How should we return the blessing

An apology can be postured

While a blessing issues from the heart.

Stick

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You extended an olive branch,

it brought a ray of hope

alas a short-lived ray of hope.

Your actions did not change

Ignoring reminders and requests

And a leaf withered

You refuse hear me out

Trying to hide the picture that emerges

And a leaf withered

You raise your voice at me

refusing to recall recent concerns

And a leaf withered

You extend an olive branch – you say

I see a stick.

Finding a Gentler Way

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In the shade of a fieldstone wall

Conversing with a half dozen people is more wearing

Than biking 20 km in traffic

Participating in a worship service is more demanding

Than biking 30 km dodging rain showers

Walking into a store for a quick errand can be more frustrating

Than biking 40 km into a head wind

Listening to live music for half an hour requires more recuperation

Than biking 50 km through hilly country side

Driving for 4 hours will affect my balance more

Than biking for 60 km on a chilly day

 

Some activities have a way of causing neuro fatigue

While cycling rejuvenates the whole person

 

The physical exertion

The rhythmic movement

The outdoor ambience

Nature’s symphony;

The wind in the trees,

The call of the cardinal

The chirping of crickets

 

Sounds that respond to each other

Sounds that sidle up to you

Sounds that heal,

Sounds that sooth the senses

Sounds that lift one’s spirits

Being neurologically atypical, things don’t add up in a way that makes sense to others. While I am able to do certain activities with ease and experience satisfaction, there are plenty of activities that leave me challenged.

 

Displaced Trust

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A Confused Tree – Peter’s Woods Provincial Nature Reserve

Displaced Trust

A child in turmoil,

Undermined – then supported

A confusion of emotions,

looking for approval – pulling away

A confusion of intent,

wanting support – refusing help

A confusion of direction,

preparing to release – holding tight

Struggling to find grounding.

A parent with regret,

Undermining – then supporting

A misalignment of emotions,

giving approval – then withholding

A confusion of intent,

denying support – offering help

confusion of direction,

reluctant to release – abandoning

Struggling for grounding.

Ode to the Dishwasher

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Granma, Cuba

O the whirring dishwasher

Usurping conversations at the sink

Replacing mechanical functions for chemical action

Spewing forth food bits and grease putrefied with suds and chemicals

A technological complexity with water levels and scrub cycle

What happened to elbow grease?

And warm hands in suds?

Salvaging food scrapes for compost

Pouring the grey water near a favourite shrub at the edge of the patio

Dishwashers designed with electronic water savers

Failing to savour the precious liquids

Stealthily by-passing the favourite shrub

The plentiful water disappearing into the vortex

Sucked down to the river or lake

The favourite shrub wilting under the noon day sun

Life giving water flushed away

Water beyond reach

Resources depleted

Abundance squandered

Where’s the flowering shrub to brighten one’s day?

Retrieve the grey water

Refresh the earth for

It’s waiting to bless you with abundance

Exchange efficiency for care

Be the dishwasher par excellence

Cajole someone to join in the task

Reminisce about the day

Dream about a bright tomorrow

Ode to the dishwasher – you and me.