#LeapOfFaith

My morning prayer is the same each day. It comes early, at the first birdsong and who, who, who of that owl that forces me to face my personal power. (“If not me, whooooo?”I hear it ask.*)

It goes like this:

Thank you for the beauty and glory and honor of this day. May I serve your purpose for me for today. 

And so I carry my jugs, tend the land I steward, call the elders, help my family, write my heart out, and ride my bike on a 10-mile loop around suburbia (where I’ve been sheltering-in-place for 16 weeks now). But there inevitably comes a moment, usually after reading too much news about the ever-spreading coronavirus, where the bedrock of my beliefs is once again tested, and I must take an actual, physical leap of faith.

Truth? It feels good. And freeing. And life-affirming. And perhaps that’s what we need right now as a reminder. Or, at least, what I need.

Feel free to join me, if you think this might be helpful to you, too. Consider posting your photo on social media as #LeapOfFaith. Tip: If my younger daughter isn’t with me (she took the first two photos below), I put the camera on a timer with a ten-second delay and start the leap when the countdown gets to 2.

I’m leaping all over the frickin’ place. You may have seen me. It may have even jumped out at you more than that damn #BikeNoodle as a weird (but good, when you think about it) thing to do (see Everyone Is Asking about #BikeNoodle).

As I say to myself each time I take a leap like this: “There will be a day I can no longer do this. Today is not that day.” And right now, as I write this,  I am thankful for the purpose, possibility, and power of yet another dawn.

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Note: People are often surprised by the thread of spirituality that runs through my book, Traveling at the Speed of Bike. I don’t know why. (What is Trust the Journey if not a spiritual belief?) Although I have long ago rejected the religion of my youth, I wear my direct and persistent relationship with my higher power openly.

* Excerpt from Leaving Suburbia for the Peace Corps:

Each morning when I wake up early to write (I’m back to bad poetry, a collection titled The Masks We Wear), it is still dark out and I hear owls cooing, Who, who, who. I answer in the words of Hillel, the Jewish sage and scholar: If I am not for myself, who is for me? When I am for myself, what am I? If not now, when?

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Group leap photo by Robyn Elliot of Bicycle Tours of Atlanta during the Sustainability-in-Action Bike Tour I developed and led last summer. I am currently developing a self-guided Sustainability Bike Tour for the City of Dunwoody, where I am sheltering-in-place (and where I founded and served as the first chairperson of the City of Dunwoody Sustainability Commission).