Amazing Grace

Tonight I was riding through the park downtown, with my head feeling jumbled and confused, in an irritable and self-immolating mood. I rode to the edge of the park, to the place behind Embassy Suites where the old railroad bridge crosses the spring, and stared out over the running water smoking a cigarette and arguing with myself, then turned to ride back towards the square. As I rode under the bridge, a little span linking two parts of the park together with really interesting acoustics beneath, I came upon a woman sitting against the wall with her bike leaned next to her, playing the recorder. I stopped, just to nod and say hello to a fellow cyclist, and without saying anything she began to play amazing grace, soulfully and slowly, the sound rolling against the curved concrete walls. I just stood there, listening, feeling the accompanying words, which resonated deeply this night, as I am feeling wretched and saved again, and nearly came to tears.

When she finished, I said thank you, and she smiled and nodded, then I rode off, suddenly aware of the bright moon and the cool wind and the glistening of the water, thankful for the way little moments of inexplicable small grandeur can rescue me from myself.

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