The gentle glow, now and again

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Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

I’ve never been sure which holds me more captive – the gentle warming  sunrise with it’s subtle, and then sudden, burst of light or the cooling breeze and melting sherbet colored glow of sunset. I suppose there’s no need to choose between the sudden burst of light or the gentle glow or consider such things, but only to find a way to receive both with gratitude. 

I took a week off after my race in Chattanooga. But once the week was up I found myself on the bike again, a summer Tennessee sunrise enveloping me as I climbed a ridge out in the country. A canopy of trees covers that rode and rays of new sunlight found paths through the denseness of the summer foliage – that road months before had been grey, cold, and brittle. Lifeless other than my own heavy breaths, escaping in wisps and floating into the cold mornings, the crackle of dead leaves. It was the same place. My legs felt full and heavy from the race still. My lungs felt the soreness of hard hours.

But there I was, climbing again. The sunshine felt sudden somehow.

When I reached the summit of the ridge I stopped and looked across the valleys ahead and around me. I thought about summer.

I wondered where I go after a race – the dawn of another adventure – maybe. Or the sunset of one that’s behind me. 

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Summer swim meet season kicked off last week. This is generally the way a ride home from an away swim meet looks. 

In the evenings you kids have been playing outside well past dark. Mommy and I sometimes sit on the front porch- in the adirondack chairs your Papaw made, or sometimes on the steps. We listen to you playing – up and down the street, through front yards and backyards, water balloons and bike races, quiet Buffett and Van Morrison tunes,  trampolines and whiffle ball, firepits, smores, and frisbees. First in the gentle glow of fading orange and pink and finally the indigo of summer nights with flickers of fireflies now and again.

I love you,

Daddy