The last night on the trail, as we made our way around the White Rim Trail in 1993, was a full-moon night. We were camped on a flat area, a quarter mile from the vertical face of The Rim. The night was calm, and the temperatures were hovering in the mid-60s.
Someone in a nearby tent was snoring, loudly, and I woke up just around midnight, as the log-sawing went on in the treeless desert. I lay in my sleeping bag for a few minutes, then decided to get up and have a drink of water, and look out of the tent for a while.
I opened the tent flap and looked out across the surrounding area. The moon was up, but still low in the sky, and the moonlight was illuminating the sheer face of the rimrock as if it was lit from within. The ground between our camp and the rim was lit, dramatically, but there were no shadows from my point of view. It was as though an artist had painted the scene, but forgot to shade in the low spots.
I sipped my water and thought to myself that this was an important moment in my life. I felt the weight of not only the years I had already lived, but those ahead of me as well. I could feel the looming presence of great change to come, but I couldn't envision what those changes might be.
I knew, however, that I would see those changes come from the seat of my bike.
Five years later, as my marriage was augering in like the Hindenburg, I thought back to that night and felt as if I was connected with the me who had sat in the desert and watched the moon move across the rock, foreshadowing the changes I was experiencing. And, I drew a little comfort from the fact that I had sensed the changes on the horizon, even if I wasn't able to foresee what, exactly, they might entail.
And, through those stormy times, I rode my bike and found comfort in the familiarity of pedaling, and of the memory of that realization that things were changing.