On Sunday, Kristiana and I drove to one of my favorite haunts - Hilton Head Island, SC. We gladly accepted the invitation of dear friends to stay with them in their vacation home there. Free meals and lodging within biking distance of the beach? Heck, yes!
Soon after arriving, we took to the streets on bikes and spent hours wandering around their community. Hours.
We stopped to pet horses,
marvel at the wonder of a tiny turtle friend,
(bye, little one - travel safely!)
stare down at the barnacles attached to a pier post while hoping to spot a manatee,
and imagine what it would be like to swim in the indoor pool behind that front door.
Maria pointed out a friend's home which was under renovation - a beautiful home that had been purchased for $1.6 million and was being gutted and rebuilt.
I stared at the many porches and decks on this home with untamed envy as I pictured myself sitting there with books, Bibles, and journals spread out every morning. Then I got my envy back under control and rode on.
In truth, my riding companions had left without me, and I had to catch up.
As I looked at the many photos I took while riding bikes over the past three days,
a shocking event from this morning came back to mind.
As we walked back to our car after having breakfast at a local cafe today, we heard a car horn, the squeal of brakes, and a horrific thud behind us. We rushed across the parking lot and saw an older gentleman lying on the street with his bike a few feet away. The driver of the car leapt out and was repeatedly shouting, "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. I can't believe this. I'm so sorry." I wanted to scream, "Shut up, dude, and bend down to help the guy you just hit."
Oh, My God! All I could do was immediately go into prayer for the safety of the victim and for a speedy recovery from what I was convinced were grave injuries. Within five minutes, an ambulance was on the scene; thank God for small communities with firefighters and rescue workers on duty twenty-four hours a day.
Thankfully, the thud we heard was the car hitting a pole after swerving in an effort to miss the cyclist. The man's elbow showed signs of cuts and bruises, but there were no other apparent injuries, and his bike seemed to be fine. We suspected that the shock of hearing the horn and seeing the vehicle coming so close to him caused him such a fright that he jerked the handlebars and fell off his bike. In any case, I hope he isn't too sore tonight. And I hope the driver is able to recover from the shock of what he had done.
Back to Sunday afternoon's bike ride - The man sitting on the boat told us that he had recently spotted a manatee, so we stood on the dock next to his boat and waited a while, hoping that giant of the sea would resurface. It didn't.
But the name of the gentleman's boat caused my barely submerged longing for solitude to resurface. It's time for another solo (soul-oh!) getaway, a chance to be alone with The Alone.
Solitude and silence are calling my name.
Bidding me to return, to sit, to bask,
to find rest for my weary soul.
To them both, I say, "I'll be back."