I ride my bike almost every day. Fortune favors me with good health, a nice bicycle, a fine riding partner and a couple of interesting rural routes to ride. Today as I was rounding a rather sharp turn, getting ready to start up a hill, I went a little too far to the right and the ragged edge of the asphalt pavement. I knew in that moment, in a wordless and reactive way, that I was about to drop into the ditch and perhaps take a fall off of the bike.
It would not have been the first time that has happened to me, and the consequences probably would not have been all that dire. Nonetheless, I braced and clenched and white-knuckled the handgrips.
And nothing happened. It turns out that there was more pavement there than I had perceived and instead of taking a header and ending up bleeding or bruised, I sailed on smoothly and began my pump up the little hill.
None of that is very noteworthy, in and of itself. What was remarkable was the reaction this little drama produced in me. It was a surprise, totally, but a feeling came over me that I had not experienced in years. It was kind of like how it felt in high school when that test you didn’t study for got put off for a week or that essay you wrote and immediately doubted actually did get the teacher’s approval.
It was like getting something I hadn’t paid for. It was like grace.