The Hand of God Tree

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The Hand of God Tree, pictured in 2013

There is a tree I call the Hand of God Tree. It originally had five big fat “fingers” hanging heavy over the Chattahoochee River but it’s down to three now after years of storms and age. The Chattahoochee, which means “river of painted rocks” to the Cherokees and “red rock” to the Creek Indians, both of whom were indigenous to this area, slips and slides rather secretly around the city of Atlanta, hidden in such a way that I would guess many folks who have lived here for many years have yet to lay eyes on it, or simply cross its murky brown waters, filled with Georgia’s famous red clay, while commuting to work on the highway. Even people who know of this national forest (which includes a meadow and wetlands) where I ride my bike have never seen the Hand of God Tree.  

I go there when I need to. For years I think it’s because of the river or the tree or God, but today when I go, I think perhaps it’s because of the three-mile gravel road that takes me to the tree, the kind of gravel road that always takes me home.

Excerpt from, Traveling at the Speed of Bike, available on Amazon in all global markets. I’m an indie author and your support is greatly appreciated. A portion of proceeds from the sale of all books is donated to help more women and girls ride bikes. Currently, that means funding my ability to do “Pedal Power with Pattie” Basic Bike Skills Classes for Women for free.

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