His brakes screeched as the bike came to a stop. I caught up and slowed to a stop behind him. My friend pointed to the side of the trail.
“Do you know what these are?”
I looked down.
“Mayapples. You know they’re native to Indiana?”
I nodded. With that, he dove into a story of Indiana-grown mayapples helping to develop the anti-cancer extract VP-16.
Our rides went like this. Though born and raised in Indiana, I learned quickly that my Syrian-born cycling friend knew vastly more about Indiana flora than I did. He kept pausing to share what he’d learned. He slowed down to describe culinary uses of Paw Paw fruit or virtues of the Osage Orange wood as those trees came into view. He stopped to gently nudge fungi and point out a slug he found breakfasting on the surface of it. Suffice it to say, our rides included many pauses.
At first, this troubled me . . .
Excerpted from the essay “The Beauty of Rest” in today’s Bearings Online. Click here to read more.