Even as Brother Lawrence sought God in the monastery kitchen where he treated his pots and pans as sacred vessels, Laura Everett, a minister in the United Church of Christ and executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, has discovered a deep and rich spiritual life in her daily bicycle commute. Along the way, she has developed several spiritual practices and discovered varied opportunities to read Boston as a sort of scripture. Put another way, she describes an energetic and winsome way of doing a mindfulness meditation.
Everett frames her life by a mobile intimacy with the temperature, dew point, and wind chill. Whether writing about the wheels, the saddle, the tires and tubes, the lights, the handlebars, the chain, the helmet, or the brakes, she demonstrates an absolute delight in movement.
She notes the many changes her bicycle has brought into her life. Riding has made her more prayerful, more alert to the beauty of the natural world, more interested in solitude, and more open to connecting with God as she meanders through the city, taking in the people and places around her and coping with distracted drivers of cars. Bicycling also brings back the pleasures of riding as a child -- especially the wind in the face and hair as she coasts down a long and steep hill, gathering speed as she goes along.
Holy Spokes is a wonder-inducing book of fresh and creative practices of everyday spirituality which "honor life as a journey, that shore up my soul, that respect both my limits and those of others."
At the end of the book are the scripts for two rituals: a "Blessing of the Bicycles Service" (see excerpt for part of this service) and a "Ghost Bike Service," a memorial for a cyclist who has been killed.