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August 25, 2010

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Being without Sarah for most of the summer
was starting to make me strange, so it felt good
to journey out to Redmond where she has been
braiding tall grass beside the Sammamish River
Trail just south of the overpass at 60 Acre Park.
It was my first time crossing the 520 floating
bridge on a bus with my bike, 545 Express to
154th and 85th, then a short ride north on the
path, about 10 minutes, a snake painted on the
asphalt more or less marks the spot. It was
sweet of Sarah to braid this fractional section
into a spiral to show she'd been thinking of me.
Although she is left-handed and I am right- we
both assemble our spirals counterclockwise. Why?
"Let's eat!" A feast at shaded picnic table, Araya's
all-you-can-eat vegan Thai buffet takeout (as much
as I could fit in a single to-go container--quite a lot).
We did not wait to take a dip in the whispering slue,
dragonflies, little fish, and a tumbling puffball which
danced briefly along the surface before sinking in.
The actual braiding resembles toil. It is hard work--
you can hear it in the sound the tough grass makes.
Not quite a protest, more like the grunts of a chiro-
practic patient getting an alignment and it does seem
as if the field is growing a backbone, more spine than
serpent. But that's just the projection of a vertebrate.
I'm biased to cycling, too, and the weather couldn't
have been better for bikes and this same continuous
ribbon of pavement could take us all the way back
to Fremont, a slightly daunting distance but flat and
free of motor traffic it was impossible to resist. After
12 years, our hearts are still bicycle-chained together.