Cycling is one of my favorite recreational activities. Cycling in nature enhances the experience exponentially with gorgeous views and vistas that command attention. On a recent trek, I cycled along the KVR (the now defunct Kettle Valley Railway turned bike path) between Penticton and Naramata. Rolling hills covered with vineyards overlooking Lake Okanagan provided breathtaking panoramas that literally stopped me in my tracks. I paused for a moment to allow my senses to take in the enormity of it all. A deep sense of gratitude washed over me, with appreciation for the sweeping views.
Further down the path, I saw a row of colorful lunch containers strung on vine posts. Below some were little plastic footstools with backpacks perched atop. Lunch break supplies awaited vineyard workers hidden deep within the rows of grape vines, 5 feet tall and more. I paused for a moment to imagine myself a vineyard worker. Heartfelt gratitude washed over me for nourishment awaiting in insulated containers and little stools to rest my weary feet.
Another mile along the route, a patch of wild flowers swayed in the wind. Tall stemmed yellow flowers waved overtop a sea of delicate purples carpeting the ground. Wild green grasses enveloped their habitat. The sweet smell of wild blooms in the air seized my attention. I paused for a moment to revel in my senses. Gratitude washed over me for the gifts that mother nature bestows in surprising pockets amidst arid landscapes.
As the gravel path stretch onward under the blazing sun, patches of shade appeared sporadically, inviting me to stop for a moments rest. I had come across the perfect spot next to a small rocky cliff, large enough to sufficiently cool my warm body. Solid shade, no visible snakes or poison ivy beckoned me to sit for a while. Sincere gratitude for no reptilian surprises or unfriendly plants, safety in the untamed wild.
In the last leg of my journey, I noticed head stones dotting a green hillside overtop. Lush grass surrounded monuments in a cemetery and directly across the path, a small blue nondescript building housed within a barb-wired fence caught my attention. The sign on the side of the building announced its purpose: Crematorium. INSTANT GRATITUDE! for NOT being on either side of the path but for being ALIVE & WELL on the center of the path, enjoying yet one more astounding bike trek!