The Wide Open
I’m getting more and more familiar with riding on Portland’s bikeways—bustling urban streets, whoop-de-do hilly neighborhoods, gravel-sand-dirt-mud, and smooth-ish, paved “protected” bike paths. I see acute angles and vibrant, pulsing juxtapositions. Life as it is. Picturesque rivers and breathtaking, rushing creeks and heartbreaking encampments. My eyes are filled with the sites and sometimes tears, and my ears are a good bit filled with things that I deem good for my soul: Yesterday I played my “It is Well With My Soul” playlist; it was the first time in a while. Since it HAD been a while, I wasn’t sure how it would “play.” I was a little worried it would stir things up (as if they were not already stirred). As I listened, again, to the meaning and intent of its message, I passed a couple on a bike in the oncoming bike path lane alongside the Willamette River as they were stopped and pulled to the side. As are many bikes in Portland, it was a fancy, tricked-out contraption—a bike + sidecar. The woman in the sidecar was slumped over and it was clear she had a disability. I captured only a moment, and the moment was all I needed to see pure beauty that took my breath, a moment that painted a visual for the soundtrack in my ears. The woman’s husband (I am assuming) reached down and tenderly wiped something from her bottom lip, and then licked his finger like he was savoring it. She was delicious to him. It was gentle, heart-gulping love and commitment—and from my angle, it appeared that it was well with them. They were okay. Maybe way more than okay. I am finding, okay can look different.
Moments later just behind the couple, I passed by Michael Trimble. I cross paths quite often with him and I am always gobsmacked by his ability. As the heading reads on this short YouTube about him, “he is the armless, bike-loving former orphan who wants to be Oregon’s next governor.”
Still listening to It is Well With My Soul, and still from my angle, things seemed well for Michael, too. And if you watch the YouTube link, you might agree.
As I continued my way home, I felt a calming, sweet peace having witnessed what appears to be acceptance of life as it is—a wellness with souls—and hope that maybe I too will get there.