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The change of autumn is in the air.

Byline: John Rezell The Register-Guard

The soft morning light slowly unveiled my long shadow dancing on the asphalt in front of me as I crested the short hill on my bicycle.

Careless and free with elbows jutting outward from my handlebars, my silhouette swung back and forth, left and right - a rhythmic pattern in sync with my effortless breathing - like Dorothy's Scarecrow skittering up the Yellow Brick Road, off to see the Wizard.

The rising sun warmed the nape of my neck and cast a golden tint on the stunning pre-fall colors, the maples and oaks pumped up to an intense raging green about to explode into a multitude of orange, yellow and red.

Like a painter with smooth, confident strokes, the image playfully leaped to life, inviting me to follow its lead.

The scratching sound of the tires gripping the pavement set a hip-hop beat. The scent of pine flashed through my nasal passages, replaced by the sweet forest aroma that transported me back to my youth, hiking through Bishop Woods on the last days of summer freedom before school would start again.

Change was imminent. I could sense it. Strange how autumn is my time of awakening instead of spring. I've felt it before, this overwhelming awareness of the moment.

They call it "the zone" in athletics, when everything appears to move in slow motion, allowing the senses to create individual harmony. The mind and body become one, and magical things happen. In my life, these moments wake me up like splashing cold water from a mountain creek on my face.

This wake-up call sent a clear message. Like a cold waterfall drenching me, every cell in my body sprang to life. A chill ran up my spine, not down. My life, once again, felt perfect.

The images that cascaded through my head were Debbie, Sierra and Taylor. Three beaming smiles of the girls who make me what I am. Their love blinded me for a second. And what followed was the feeling that life just doesn't get any better than this.

These moments of epiphany seem to come more frequently as I get more in touch with myself. Abstinence created a clearer view of everything. Yoga brought the clarity to another level. And ginseng managed to crank it up yet another notch.

At the same time that I feel on top of the world, I'm saddened. I remember countless times of explaining to others these wondrous moments when I sense that if my life were any more full I might explode.

I only see an emptiness in their eyes. They have no idea what I'm talking about. They haven't made it to this place yet. My single wish for the world is that everyone finds it not once, but often. As I do.

The ability to wake up each day and know that it will be better than the last. To just know that life has much more in the future than you could ever imagine, then to experience it, and know that more is yet to come makes my heart literally rise and float around the room like a graceful eagle in the sky, able to see the minute details that often slip past even the most perceptive people.

That is the cloud of wonder I rode on this morning. I know things won't be the same again. Something is in the air. And like waking up on Christmas morning, I can't wait to see what it will be, because I know the change will be for the best. As usual, I must note the date: September 11, 2001.

Note: I sat down at my desk after my ride into work that morning and wrote all of the above. Just as I finished, Joe Salas walked in and asked if I had been listening to the radio. I said no. He said something was going on in New York ...
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Title Annotation:Columns
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Column
Date:Sep 11, 2007
Words:653
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