It was like I was throwing myself off of a stage, surfing the hands of strangers. But instead, I was taking a leap of faith, pursuing a dream that’s rooted in love. I threw myself into the arms of the universe, being caught, and gracefully carried across America.
There was no red ribbon stretched across the finish line for us to blast through. No string of bright colored balloons hanging in an arch up above it. I did not see a band set up on the shoreline, playing The Eye of The Tiger. The rows of people lining each side of the path, applauding and cheering us on for the last half mile, they were not there either. And on the podium, where the tall attractive blonde lady stands with the bottle of champagne that I corked and sprayed into the air, celebrating, none of that existed.
What actually happened was this…
The sun was warming things up outside in Gainesville. I had just finished gathering my stuff together, squeezing it into my panniers. And then at noon, I rolled my bike out toward the street, in my awkwardly tight shorts, tossing a leg over the bar. Jo and I set out to ride the last eighty miles or so to the Atlantic coast.
A breeze helped to push us further east, rolling along the final stretch of the Florida highway. The clouds in the sky provided temporary shade as the sun dodged in and out from behind them. Thunder was clapping in the clouds to the north, the sky beginning to transform to a darker shade of gray. And then the heavens opened up and poured rain down on us for a half an hour. There was no better feeling.
Shoeless Jo seemed to know that we were arriving at our destination, getting a good look of everything while balancing on his wagon.
Behind the soulful lyrics of Into The Mystic that Fogerty was singing to me through my head phones, I was recalling many of the experiences that Jo and I have shared along the way. I was picturing the faces of the people, all of the angels we have met and have been blessed by. I pictured everyone online, those that Jo and I know, and the others we haven’t met. I imagined that each of you were pedaling along with us, a parade of friends on bikes.
I was crossing over the last bridge, the Atlantic was in sight. I veered onto the Coast Highway and made another turn, pedaling down a sleepy street that led to the oceans edge.
Where the sidewalk ends, and the sand begins, I stood there looking out at the water, considering for awhile, all of the love that has been exploding all around us. I know this is all part of a grander plan, so I lifted up a silent prayer, thanking the Spirit for grace and mercy and abundance, for love, and for you.