After a great day volunteering in Greenwood, Mississippi the Fuller Center Spring ride anxiously watched the weather forecast to determine if we would have a dry 74 mile ride to Kosciusko, Mississippi or a wet day. Despite our requests for divine intervention with dry weather, Friday broke with heavy rains and the promise for a wet weather day.
The group headed out after another great breakfast from Parkway Baptist in Houston under rain and turned south. The group was cold and soaked but pressed on with an odd collection of grocery bag shoe covers and garbage bag leg warmers.
I too was rather dour like the weather outside but as the day progressed I started to become aware of the wonder that was around me on the ride. It started with the 8 mile long trail of destruction wrought on the landscape around the Nantchez Trace by a tornado in 2011. You could sense the sheer power that had roared through the area 5 years ago with trees snapped in half and bare like chopsticks.
We then moved into the wooded section north of Kosciusko and the woods swallowed the Trace as we climbed and descended the rolling hills. The ever-present drizzle turned into a hard rainfall and the woods erupted with a cacophony of sound. As I rode quietly I focused on the sounds of creation around me; the gentle roar of rain hitting leaves in the forest, the soft patter of drops hitting the bed of needles on the forest floor, the cascade of water in roadside streams, the swish of water rooster-tailing off the bikes, and the rhythmic breathing of my riding buddies as we rolled along. During that rain I realized how the thing we had dreaded that morning (the rain) helped me to be that much more aware of the wonders of creation around me.
I was soaked and tired but in that moment every bit alive and amazed by God’s beauty and the gift that he gave me on this very special ride from Houston to Kosciusko. We often say the Bike Adventure changes you. Sometimes all it requires is just a little water.