Wanted: Magic Words

Joey here.

Today was a short ride—only 38 miles—to Provo. Yet it took most of the day, because we encountered so many interesting Utahans.

LDS churches (like this one in Draper) were a common sight.
We passed enormous piles, or hills, or mountains, of sand.
We dodged big trucks collecting sand for ubiquitous construction projects.
Housing developments are everywhere.
A new LDS church is rising next to the bike path.
The bike trail went up, down, around.
On Utah trails, horses have priority.

Off the trail, for many Utahans, people come first.

Satya, photogenic but shy, allowed us to photograph her companion.

L to R: Satya’s hand holding our HRF Ambassador calling card and a leash; KNC.

Satya is a professional writer who by majoring in math and English at the University of Minnesota, cultivated both sides of her brain. Her writing reflects that broad education. Satya sympathizes with people fleeing persecution—people who have been helped since 1978 by Human RIghts First.

Clayton is an experienced cyclist with a big heart. He rides like the wind. Especially with a tailwind, which today was our headwind.

Clayton designed software for companies you’ve heard of, in industries you know.

He and Jeffrey swapped stories about cycling adventures and equipment. They both had bones broken by criminally negligent drivers. Suffering doesn’t ennoble. It does give perspective. That, Clayton has in plenty.

While Jeffrey and Clayton chatted, Kim and Linda stopped by.

L to R: Kim, Linda.

Jeffrey explained our mission. Linda said HRF’s voice is needed in these times.

Meet Sean and Winnie.

L to R: Winnie, Sean.

Sean, a marathoner and triathlete, offered to give us anything we need. He is a professional recruiter for various industries. Sean has been exposed to the pain of people fleeing persecution: a friend in Salt Lake City counsels traumatized refugees from many countries, including (lately) Ukraine. If Sean directs some of his eloquent enthusiasm and winning personality to promoting human rights, HRF will have a strong advocate.

Sean snapped this photo before we parted ways.
Welcome to Provo!

Our kind friend Susan is our host tonight.

L to R: Joey, Susan. Susan is a brilliant academic who has the common touch.

Susan took Jeffrey on a tour of her lovely hometown.

Provo City Center Temple.
The old courthouse for Utah County.
Provo street scene.

What we saw while biking through the Utah megalopolis demonstrate the power of words. Susan’s ancestors fled persecution in Illinois and Missouri, and walked (!) to Utah to build a new society, because the Prophets of the LDS church said words that moved the spirit.

Which words will move enough Americans to stand up for common sense justice and humane treatment for migrants and refugees throughout the world? We keep pedaling and talking and listening, and we haven’t yet discovered those words.

Will we ever?

Maybe tomorrow.

Maybe the day after that.

L to R: Joey, Jeffrey. Jeffrey wore a t-shirt while doing laundry. He dresses more respectably (like me) on the road.

2 thoughts on “Wanted: Magic Words

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