Church of the Outdoors


I went to church today. No, not that kind of church. I haven’t been inside one of those in ages.

No, I mean MY church — the church of the outdoors. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to be disrespectful. I grew up in a church-going family. I respect people who go to church regularly. But it never worked for me. I never felt like I belonged. And trust me, I tried.

I never felt nearly as close to God/diety/All–That-Is/(insert higher power of your choice) as I do when I’m outside in nature. Once I had that realization, I made it a point to worship as often as possible.

Sadly, I haven’t been going to church as often as I would have liked of late. Yeah, I’ve been outside here and there over the last couple of weeks, but nothing serious. Nothing longer than a short run.

But I went today! And I took a couple of friends with me. We went for a bike ride! A real bike ride! A 19.4 mile bike ride! It was fantastic. It was inspirational. It was spiritual.

I love the cell tower on the water tank.

We didn’t go anywhere special. Just our regular route, really. It’s kinda nice to visit the same places and watch the seasons change. We’re just coming out of the rainy season here, and everything is green and flowering and lush. It won’t last. In the next couple of months, the grasses will dry and turn the burnished gold color I love so much.

See all that water?

This is a lovely pasture that we pass often. Look at all that water! Well, it’s technically part of the Laguna so it’s no surprise it’s still wet here.

Ugly, right?

The vineyards are all starting to bud out. The mustard and other weeds between the vines are dying back, but soon the vines will be filled with leaves. It was still a teensy bit cooler than I would have liked, but not enough to ruin the day.

Two of my companions.

All in all, it was such a lovely day, it would have been a sin to have stayed inside.

After the ride, we cleaned up and headed out for a bit of a late lunch. And then…

Post-ride, post-lunch afternoon nap in the sun.

Amen.

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