149 words about 70 miles
I’m 5 miles into my ride. Early morning on a holiday weekend, so no traffic. The sun’s over my left shoulder, still low on the horizon. Touch of a tailwind, but so faint I don’t realize it until I reverse direction. Cruising along. I see a red-tailed hawk maybe 5 feet off the road on the grass. He rises, beating his wings slowly with a familiar effort. It looks the way I feel when I start from a stop in too high a gear. Except with grace. The sun catches his speckled cream chest as he turns slowly, gaining altitude — although at 10 feet off the ground that doesn’t seem quite the right word. I’d include the picture but the camera at my fingertips, on my handlebars, wasn’t on. But that’s the thing about words: they’re almost always in focus and the lighting and exposure are always perfect.