Excerpts From "Angel on my Handlebars"

By  Patricia Starr

Preface: Angel Experience

The Grand Teton Mountains, the breasts of Mother Nature, were towering in the distance. Their stark, angular lines made them look naked with only a dusting of snow for the purpose of modesty. What a Jekyll and Hyde scene, I thought, as my eyes darted from the grandeur of the mountains to the scruffy sagebrush dotting the desert surrounding me.

I was a 67-year-old woman in short shorts and Hanes support hose, who didnít fit the bicyclist imageóneither did my $600 bicycle with its fuzzy seat cover and a kickstand.

The winds were starting to make mini-whirlwinds in the loose, colorless soil, the only signs of movement in the barren desert. There were no visible signs of lifeópeople, animals or birds. I felt like I was the only one of Godís creatures in the entire landscape.

As I pedaled along, I reached up to pull off my sunglasses. The first wave of panic hit when I realized they werenít even on my face; they were still in my bag. The ominous sky darkened at an alarming rate and pulled a dusky curtain over the mountain vista before me.

An uneasy feeling was stirring in the pit of my stomach. There was something different about the atmosphere as the storm approached. The air was eerily calm and my breath felt like it was being sucked out of me.

Suddenly, the mini-whirlwinds turned into swirling gusts that were pulling my bicycle out from under me. For the first time in my life, I wished I weighed a hundred pounds more. I gripped my handlebars so tightly my knuckles looked like they were standing at attention under my bicycle gloves. I felt like I was stuck in a cage and going nowhere.

Rumble. Grumble. Rumble. The unmistakable signs of the storm growled through the valley floor. I got off my bike and turned around to see the sky starting to light up. Sheets of brilliant white blanketed the blackened sky. Then a towering spike of lightning ripped down from the heavens; and moments later an enormous clap of thunder resonated through the desert. I fumbled for my phone on instinctóI knew there was no service.

I got back on my bike; and with tears streaming down my face, started pedaling as fast as I could. I donít know where I thought I was going. There was not a tree, bush or building in that God-forsaken piece of America to provide even a tiny piece of shelter.

The electrical extravaganza was not only behind me; it was starting to encircle me. My heart was racing as I pedaled along in a frenzy. I was alone. I was in the desert. I was scared. My fingers caressed the golden angel pin I always wore on my shirt collar. Please, God, help me.

Then, every trace of panic and fear vanished from my body. An intense feeling of calm overtook my entire being. That must be what it feels like when you die. With a breathless silence, an angel came down and encircled my body with its wings. They were white and filmy and felt like soft gauze as they touched my skin. The weightless wings sent shivers from the top of my head under my helmet to my toes nestled in my bicycle shoes. My mind was in a hypnotic trance; I was unaware of my surroundings and no longer felt frightened.  I rode in complete peace with the angel wings wrapped around me for an entire hour until my husband, Gabriel, drove up in our van and found me on the lonely road.

When I told him what had happened, he didnít believe me. He thought the desert had zapped my mind.  He commented he did notice my eyes were completely clear, although they had a translucent quality that puzzled him.

He said, ďI donít know what happened to you; but whatever it was, something took care of you when I wasnít there.Ē  READ MORE (INTRODUCTION)