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Whatever the weather….

On Saturday, my husband and I joined some friends for an afternoon trip to the mountains. We pulled into Highlands, North Carolina, late in the afternoon, seven riders on five bikes. My husband hollered to me over his shoulder, “I hear bagpipes!”

Of course you do, dear. Is your helmet a little too tight?

But he was right. A piper stood on a hotel balcony, playing everything from Scottish folk songs to “Love Me Tender.”

Thunder started rolling through the mountains, but it wasn’t close yet. We walked down the block and sat across the street from a beautiful little Presbyterian church while its bells played “Be Thou My Vision” in competition with the bagpipes, another reminder of Appalachia’s musical and religious heritage.

The storm moved closer. Not wanting to be on steep, slick, unfamiliar roads in the dark, we left while it was light out. I had forgotten my gloves, so I tucked my hands inside the sleeves of my rainsuit as best I could. My hands were cold, my ears were full of the rumble of the bikes, my eyes were full of the wild scenery. Mountaintops lost in clouds. Sheets of rain. Mists rising. Little houses half-hidden in tiny valleys. Wildflowers, hawks, the occasional cow.

The rain poured harder. We took refuge under the canopy of a gas station that had closed for the night and waited for the storm to pass. As I looked around at the wet, smiling faces, the glorious puddles, and the wet, green mountains behind us, I thought of a couple of poems I love. One is by Marchette Chute, and it described exactly how I felt:

My hair is wet, my feet are wet,
I couldn’t be much wetter.
I fell into a river once
But this is even better.

The other one is by G.K. Chesterton, who’s one guy I want to meet in heaven:

Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
And the great world round me;
And with tomorrow begins another.

Why am I allowed two?

I hope you’ll enjoy today, no matter what the weather’s doing in your corner of the world.

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