After having temporarily dislodged my kneecap, I spent a few moments unable to think of anything else but that ice-cold, roiling ache. I barely opened my eyes as I swore continuously and rather loudly, entirely out of keeping with the otherwise pious atmosphere of the church.
Eventually the wisdom of past experience told me to try to get back on my bicycle, and get the joint moving before it swelled up. I tried the disastrous manoeuvre again but, forewarned, managed to clear the various metals and fabrics of my bicycle and settle onto the saddle.
As I bounded down the hill, trembling slightly, I was struck by the sun setting, suddenly blasting between the clouds and the horizon, over to my right. Then a partridge, startled, took off over my left shoulder. Squirrels bounded in front of me like I was some kind of herald of spring, caught out of season, conjuring life out of the hedgerows.
I wondered if this might be an admonishment of my earlier succumbing to piety. That wasn’t anything to do with God, something was trying to tell me. Avert yourself. Head out into the fields. God might not be in the sunset, but might God be the bench you sat on to watch it? Might God be the sap in the grass, or the skitter of claw-dotted paws on a bank?
Not far from home, I found my front wheel a mere inch away from running over two panicked geese. I don’t know how they fit into this spiritual revelation at all; they were fine, but they didn’t have give me a look.