Even through the Flame

Written by: Susan Pratt

What a week so far. .. We cycled into La Veta, a small town community with the same type of commitment the Fuller Center cyclists have for each other. As I walked around town I stopped in the post office, the market, an art studio, and a nail salon (yes, it was time to get a pedicure), I noticed that everyone knew one another.  Then we had an ice cream social with the congregation of the church we were staying in. The entire town’s care for each other was evident.   With a fire spreading nearby, the folks were focused on ways to help their own community. 

Joel offered them suggestions and inspiration.   Likewise, the Fuller Center cyclists and support team care for one another.  Talking about our week so far, we cycled from Santa Fe to Taos (86.5 miles, 7487 elevation gain), Taos to Alamosa (100.6 miles), Alamosa to La Veta (59 miles, crossing the La Veta Pass at 9314 ft.) and La Veta to La Junta (90 miles).   What a tough week.  One thing that astounded me is that despite tears, tired bodies, waking up at 4 am, and long hard days, we stake the time to encourage, to support each other and to get to know each other.  Because we all share that same passion to help others, this compassion for each other is very much a part of our character.  I noticed that if someone was struggling, others reached out to help, whether it be by talking to them, pulling them, or encouraging them on the way.

Personally, I had a tough week.  I dropped my cell phone on a tile floor.   I have insurance on the phone, but with little wifi, sometimes no cell coverage, and multiple calls to Verizon, getting another phone sent to me was an arduous process.  But, many reached out to help me when they saw I was stressed, and they didn’t hesitate to lend a helping hand.  The lack of a phone actually helped me to focus on what was important.   I have talked more with others and have cycled with a deeper appreciation for the land around me (since I can’t take photos).  Today’s ride was spectacular.  No photo could record the beauty of that which we cycled through.  I said hello to all the cows, horses, and dogs we passed.  I sang “America the Beautiful.”  I felt a freedom that I haven’t felt in a long while.   The fire nearby created the most gorgeous sunrise.   With disaster, there is often beauty.  With the loss of a phone, I saw the compassion of the Fuller family and really experienced that which was around me. Thank you God for the inconvenience.

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