The sun sparkles on the blue ocean. Palm trees murmur and sway, the fresh salty air feels soft on our skin, and gulls squawk overhead. We spray each other well with sunscreen, pull on our snorkel gear, and step into the warm, calm ocean. Amazing colorful fish dart and play. Swimming close together, I point out a ray lying in a sandy patch of ocean floor and you pretend to be a shark and begin to nibble on my shoulder.
I take a sip of silky sweet Sauternes and look at you appraisingly. “That’s what you think the key point was?” I ask over the clink of cutlery and babble of voices. “Interesting. Say more.” We’re sitting at the bar of our favorite restaurant, having just seen a play in our season ticket series. You pause to flag down the bartender to place our order for dessert and then turn to me deep in thought. “There were three or four things that struck me,” you begin. I settle in for a lively discussion of analysis and opinions.
Majestic redwoods flank the road and the hill steepens slightly as I lift out of the saddle to make it over the crest. 25 miles into the ride, my legs are aching pleasantly and my face is flushed with exertion. I pull over to the side of the road and turn to watch as the other cyclists with us join me one by one. You are riding sweep, making sure everyone is OK and no one has to be last. Your kind smile reassures a less experienced rider, and your eyes sparkle as I launch into an enthusiastic description of the next leg of the route.