by Joy Dombrow
Oregon Writer 
We hopped on our bikes, setting off on a long trail ride across the distinct landscape of Eastern Oregon.
One of my favorite places in the world…with some of my favorite people.
Following one behind the other, like synchronized ants, our party embraced the free-spirited and nature-loving activity with eagerness. There were times when we would stop to let others catch up, or fetch a fallen water bottle, or tend to a hurt knee or feeling, but the majority of the time was spent moving our legs in pulsating rhythms, creating an unparalleled sensation of freedom. As the wind blew through my hair, pine scents wafted into my nostrils, and the desert terrain whizzed by, I was taken with the beauty and majesty of the creation around me.
The mass of pine trees in wondrous architectural form.
The grandeur of the mountains.
The spray of grasses blanketing the fields.
The lazy moving river across the collection of large rocks.
In it’s entirety…it’s mass…the scene was picturesque.
Yet, the unique thing about bike riding is that, although you can travel quickly, there is still time to see the details. The individual trees are not lost among the masses. A single tree also has a beauty all it’s own. Even upon closer examination, an individual branch, or pine needle for that matter, is stunningly pretty. Each blade of grass beckons it’s own admiration. Each rock declares character all it’s own.
Not unlike us as people.
I have mentioned before  that it takes effort for me to wrap my mind around the fact that God loves me, in a unique and individual kind of way. His promises, His care, His commands, His salvation have always been for the masses , of which I am thankful to be a part. But while the rocks, and trees, and fields cry out their praises to God, they also whisper evidence to my soul that there is a unique love, beauty, distinction, and appreciation for the individual soul as well. Their is love for, and beauty in, both the masses and the individual.
I know it sounds crazy that I even struggle with this concept. But God is so gracious to patiently meet me where I am at.
Even atop two bike wheels.