Climate Ride 2012, NYC-DC, May 24, 2012

Words fail me
as I think about
how to express
what I feel
one early morning after
the end of Climate Ride 2012

“Not even close” —
This is how I described
my plans to do this action
in my fund-raising emails

“Not even close”
to anything I’ve ever done before.

I’ve taken action for the climate,
including arrests and long fasts.

As a young person
I wrestled, with serious, daily practices,
and, later in life,
played full-court basketball.

I rode my bike as a kid,
and 25 miles a week
for the 13 years
leading up to this spring.

I’ve raised money
for causes
I’ve considered important.

And I’ve drawn close
to others
as we worked together
for a noble objective
over an extended
period of time.

But with Climate Ride
it was “all of the above.”

I’ll never forget:

-the beauty of so much
of the land (the animals, the people),
we passed through

-the “line of 30”
on the last day
forming miraculously
between the water stop
and Silver Spring,
up and down and across,
moving fast,
moving in rhythm,
like a fine-tuned biker team
(and maybe we were)

-the incredible thrill
as I tucked in close
and sped down hill after hill
when it was safe to do so

-the dead beaver
in the middle of the road
on one of the longest,
steepest hills on a day four
full of many of them
(parts of which I walked—
it was OK!)

-the young women
preparing food in the kitchen,
beautifully singing Christian hymns
from 5:30-6:30 am on Tuesday,
before a long, hard day of riding

-the drinks with biker comrades
at the end of that long day,
sitting outside,
getting to know each other
more and better

-the wonderful massages

-The Blake routine every morning

-Caeli’s energy and passion

-Geraldine in the background

-all the volunteers

-and the final act:

Unloading all the luggage
over to a dry place
out of the yellow rented trucks
via long lines of riders
(“like a sandbag line,” someone said)
riders getting soaked
as the sky
finally opened in earnest
after five days
without hard rain,

As if to say:

You are baptized,
climate riders.
You’ve done well.
You stayed strong.
You stayed the course.

Now –
wash up,
clean up,
rest up,
and keep moving forward.

Our wounded world
and its wounded peoples
need you,
need us.