A Detour Off The Bike Path

The other day I took a detour off the bike path, turning down to where I usually see pedestrians walking close to the edge of the water near the Pier.  I had cycled by this spot many times and once was even intrigued to stare into the tunnel where people were going.  So I rolled around a flagpole and pedaled into the unknown corridor.

It was a gateway to the riverwalk, which happens to be one of my favorite places in the city.  I spend no time on the riverwalk.  I’ve been down there before, for a boat tour, for a short walk.  Perhaps I love the place so much because I haven’t spent time there.  Because it’s so out of the way.  Nonetheless, I pedaled through the tunnel.

A couple sat on the hard sidewalk on a blanket with a brown bag between them.  They were too good-looking to be homeless; that’s the thought I had as I watched them for those moments.  Around us was pictorial of the city’s history.  I think that’s what it was.  I didn’t stop and read the tiny words under the blocks of beautiful images.

A different but joyful detour from a few years ago

I pedaled on, saw a cafe dedicated to Monet, felt a hundred water sprinkles on my arms, my shirt, and my face.  There were places people could eat.  I thought of the couple behind me, the pair that sat on the ground instead at one of the tables.  I saw a dog who saw me as I rode by.  I spoke to the walkers on the walk.  Everyone was smiling.  I thought to capture a photo of a sculpture but didn’t.  I thought about something someone told me once that God had told them to tell me.  I made a note that I’d return to see the sculpture, to take that picture, to remember what God may have been saying to me.  At the end of my little stint–because I turned around at the Dusable bridge–was the architectural boat tour office.

I rode the same path back to the Lake, saw the same rain-soaked tables, the same couple with a burrito between them.  I felt the same water spraying me, refreshing me with what I needed.  I was on my way to park for a while.  The half way point would give me a marker to spend some time in prayer.  But riding through the riverwalk, I had already felt that I had been with God, that I had been praying all along.  And it was true.  I had been praying.  Those moments, even the eye contact with the chocolate lab, were prayer-filled.  And I told myself that all that had come from a detour off my path.

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