The funniest thing happened recently. My bride and I were riding my motorcycle in the hills where we live. We stopped for a bit to grab a bite to eat at a Mexican restaurant in a small town an hour’s ride from home. By that point, we had been riding for several hours. Our butts had been enduring the vibrations of the mountain roads and of the engine for more than enough miles. Finally, however, I pulled off at a small town at a Mexican restaurant that had a lot of cars in the parking lot. It must be good, I thought to myself, as I pulled in and we took off our helmets. I mean, look at all these cars.
“Let me see your helmet,” she said. “Hold it up for me.” She looked at her reflection in the back of the helmet so she could pull her hair up and look decent for our casual meal together. It was so funny to me. Guys would never think like that. I didn’t give a moment’s thought to my hair. But that was just the point. She thought about her hair, how she looked, how she would appear. I thought only of fajitas and salsa.
We went in, enjoyed some very good chips and salsa, chicken fajitas, etc. and had food left over to take home to one of the kiddos who loves Mexican food as much as we.
We ate, were full, and it neared time to go.
“I’m going to run to the restroom real quick,” I said, and I left my wallet on the table for her to pay if the waitress might happen to reappear while I was gone. When I was washing my hands in the restroom I looked in the mirror above the sink as I lathered and rinsed my hands. I had “helmet head.” My hair was board-straight and it was obvious I’d either been born with hair that looked like a stand-in for the 1980s hair band A Flock of Seagulls or I had indeed been in a motorcyle helmet for several hours. (Some might argue both; we have our own crosses to bear.)
We got home. I put up the bike. We were both really tired. We chatted for a bit. I gave the leftovers to my boy who put the to-go box in the microwave and ate while still playing online games with some of his friends.
I played with my dogs, and knew I’d not be up late. I was worn out. And I had an early morning ahead. I had a drive back to my hub from which I work, several hours away from home.
When I got to said place today, I caught up on some reading, looked over some material for a course I’m co-teaching online, went to the track for some time in the sun (it was a beautiful day in the 80s here today), listened to my favorite history podcasts, listened to some tunes I’ve probably sung thousands of times (I’m sure Dickey Betts hates how I do air guitar and butcher his amazing guitar skills on “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Jessica” but so it goes), and watched a fellow soldier complete the “Murph” workout over by the pull-up bars, as he did air squats, pull-ups, and push-ups, and ran the regimen that is common for some soldiers to do in remembrance of Murphy.
And I reflected:
- My wife literally caught her reflection in order to fix her hair up before we entered the Mexican restaurant in the small mountain town.
- Several times during the motorcyle ride, I looked in my bike’s mirrors to reflect upon the road behind. I could see the hills we’d ascended and descended; I could see my bride behind me, and feel her legs straddling me as we gained more miles.
- When we crossed the lake in our neighborhood, I caught the reflection of the last hours of the gloaming on the water, and saw red and yellow and green canoes on the rippling water.
- When we got home and later that night lay down, I reflected on the blessing of my day, of the ways the clouds slid on the invisible winds, of the ways the air carried scents of grasses and hay and even chicken coops and pastures of cattle.
- I reflected upon my Sunday school class, upon those men and women who love the Lord, and whose lives demonstrate said commitment.
- I reflected upon my book of the week–a truly wonderful read by Doug Wilson entitled Mere Christendom–and of how I knew I’d finish it tonight, and wouldn’t go to bed at a decent hour like I should, and how 0400 would come early.
But they were as a whole encouraging reflections. They expanded the connotations of such a noun. And I hope they encouraged you, too, dear reader.