How can I even begin to share the beauty of today. This morning, I rode my bicycle to Chautauqua park for the first time and loved it. It felt great trying out something unfamiliar to find in the end that it was too fun. Overestimating the amount of time it'd take to get there, I was able to sit on a cozy rock with a cup of tea and read my current bedside read; "Groucho Marx: And Other Short Stories and Tall Tales." The book is a collective of Groucho's writings from over the course of his career that leave the reader grinning from ear to ear. His clever and quick humor cracks me up.
As I was reading away, a faint squeaking of a bicycle chain caught my attention. Turning quickly around I saw that it was my dear friend Ryan pedaling away. We haven't seen each other since last spring so I ran right over to give him a big big hug. It's incredible how time may pass and contact is lost with a friend but the moment you see each other again it all falls back into place. We began to catch up as we walked the trails leading to Green Mountain.
Ryan shared of his past year's adventures spent enjoying life. His journey began with a bicycle ride exploring the pacific coast of California. The days were spent swimming out to sea stacks to climb and bathe in the sun; I was oohing and ahing over every word shared. Ryan is a wonderful storyteller to the point that I got a few tastes of the ocean water just from listening to him speak. His adventure was filled with happy moments but there were some very scary times as well. Though it was at times difficult for him, the good surely followed such heartaches. His positive strength is truly admirable. To top off the wonderful conversation that was being had, we were surrounded by immense beauty. Every so often, with big smiles on our faces, we'd stop to enjoy the moment we were in. With every step taken there was gorgeous moss, lichen covered branches and rocks, bug larvae that covered a huge stretch of the path, a hot hot sun keeping us warm, cloud-like areas of snow, and magpies singing away.
We parted ways with hurt cheeks from smiling, belly aches from laughter, and lovely muddy feet. Cannot wait for the next time we will hike and climb together. Very grateful to have this positive light in my life. What a beautiful day spent catching up with a dear friend.
Anna Marie Valenti
A bird's eye view into my world.
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