If I were to list all the things that give me joy here in Erie, the list would be long. We can save some of the list for later. But, right now, I need to write about something that is happening right now.
As most of you know, I have only been riding a bike for one-ninth of my life. (Thanks to Meg and Chris for getting that statistic rolling...on two wheels!) Riding my bike gives me great joy. I love the feeling of freedom I have when cruising along.
It is sometimes difficult to feel free when riding your bike in the city with stop-and-go traffic, but our monastery is situated outside the city limits - in Harborcreek Township. There are plenty of open roads with little car traffic. And in our region along the coast of Lake Erie, vineyards are everywhere, including right around the corner. I only have to ride about a mile before I begin encountering grapevines.
And this is the season of ripening grapes. So, right now, as I pedal along these back roads, I get a special treat - the smell of grapes. It really is wonderful how far the smell lingers along, and the scenery is beautiful. As I ride, I offer to God a little prayer of gratitude for this gift.
As an added bonus, one of our volunteers at the food pantry brought in some fresh Niagara grapes for us to sample on Tuesday morning - yum! I would hate to savor all this goodness myself, and while I cannot reproduce the delicious scent, I can share a few photos that I took on a ride yesterday morning. For best results, sniff a bottle of grape juice while looking!
Let us walk in the holy presence.