I've been getting in a couple of bike rides a week this past month, thank to Hazel's swim team moving to their long course pool. The new location is on a great road for cycling, and as it's too far away to easily leave and return to, I take my bike and ride while she is at practice.
Some days I focus on cadence, some days I try to speed up. Some days I choose hill repeats, some days a long loop. Yesterday I did the loop but I was leisurely about it - no worries about my spinning, whether I was in or out of the saddle, how fast I'd done a particular hill before. Instead, I enjoyed the glorious Texas sky, watched the birds dart down from trees and into the scrub, admired the wildflowers, the yucca, the prickly pear cacti...it was beautiful, and it's so familiar to me, that hill country brush, with the low-lying mesquite and juniper trees along the highway, the hills, the promise of the river or the creek down the ravine out of sight. I know that soon I won't even be able to recall it accurately, as new sights and flora and fauna fill my vision, but just as surely I know that it will always be home, and when next I see it, that view will be as familiar to me as my own children.