Daniel and I get up anytime between 5:45 AM and 7:00 AM, depending on when we go to bed and how motivated we feel when we get up. We do actually end up getting up between 5:45 and 6:15 more often than not, which allows us to work out for half an hour and spend some time in devotions before getting ready for work. While it can be difficult, it has also been freeing to rise so early, and comforting to let the peace of God take hold of our days before they even start. We use a bikeshare program, which allows us to take bikes for half an hour at a time and drop it off at other bike docks – we normally do yoga and calisthenics in the morning and then a bike ride in the evening.
This morning, however, we decided to get up at 5:45, without allowing ourselves to sleep in at all, and take a bike ride to the Jefferson Memorial and do our devotions there watching the sunrise above the Potomac. It’s about a half hour bike ride, so longer than our normal workout, but we thought it’d be a nice change of pace and get in our full workout in the morning rather than saving half of it for that night. And we actually did it, despite getting to bed at 1:00 AM (school is killer, FYI).
We rose without an issue other than keeping our eyes open, got on our bikes and headed out. I know I don’t talk about it that much but, despite my wish to move to Florida and/or Colorado at some point, living here is rather incredible. There is no way to describe what it is like to watch the Washington Monument appear and then reappear in front of you as you bike up and down hills on the trail. And then, as you go down one particular hill, and round the corner, you see the capital on the right side and the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial a little ahead to the right. Combine that with the Potomac at your side and a slowly lighting sky, and you feel rather like you are in a movie.
Until a bug or dirt or something flies into your eye and you spend the next half mile trying to rub it out without tipping over on your bike.
When we stopped for some water, Daniel used his flashlight but still couldn’t locate what was bothering me and no amount of water appeared to flush it out, so I continued to ride, blinking somewhat continuously until the wind dried out my eye enough that it temporarily didn’t bother me.
Once we reached the Jefferson Memorial, the bike dock was full, so we ended up going 10 minutes past that fully into DC to find another one, refreshed the time, and headed back to the Memorial itself, where we sat in front of it, right next to the Tidal Basin and watched the sun finish coming up as Daniel read out loud from Luke. Well, Daniel watched it – I closed my eyes and listened to him read. Which would have been so much more peaceful and picturesque if I hadn’t been closing my eyes just to try to work that piece of dirt out of it (ironically, he was reading from the passage that talks about taking care of the plank in your own eye before the speck in your brother’s eye). The bike dock was still full once we finished, so we biked back and paid the extra fee for the extra time we had them.
All in all, what sounded like it was going to be a peaceful and, if I may use the word again, picturesque, plan turned into life. Dirt, full bike docks, extra time, and ultimately late to work. But you know what? It is a good life. I love seeing the symbols of the free world around me as I exercise, and being able to do random things like devotions in front of one of them in the morning before work. And annoying little things like full bike docks and dirt in the eye shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying them and realizing how much God can bless you through the little things.
In case anyone is wondering, my eye stopped hurting about 4 hours later, and the eye doctor said it was fine – just irritated.
Picture below from previous bike ride: