Strava map of the Gran Fondo ride.

At first I wasn’t sure what to think of this ride. I wanted to find some meaningful theme to carry in my mind, but it all began pretty uneventfully. This started just as a long ride after Ramadan to check my level of fitness.

Then about 30 minutes in, I saw a father riding a motorcycle with his daughter. He stopped the motorcycle as they arrived at her school. The daughter stepped down. She kissed his hand, and he kissed her forehead.

I found the theme I was looking for: parenthood.

That scene struck me pretty hard. I am also currently dealing with my daughter starting elementary school, with its own share of challenges. I felt I knew exactly what that forehead kiss meant: may you learn valuable things at school, and may you be safe in a place where I’m not there with you.

My heart felt full. It’s a cliche, but it restores my faith on mankind. Somewhere out there, there are fathers loving their daughters as much as I do mine.

Afterward I kept my eyes open for more scenes like that. I found them, yet only with my eyes did I capture them. Words are inadequate, yet I’ll describe them nevertheless.

I saw another father looking into an unseen baby, laying down in a stroller facing away from me. They were sitting under the shade of a big tree, and ray of lights were streaming down the blessed family.

I saw a grandmother sitting with her grandchild by the side of the road. I kept looking at her trying to remember her features, and she kept looking at me as well: puzzled why some dude in weird costume kept looking.

I passed a school and a teacher walked in the front while a long line of tiny elementary school kids walked behind him in pairs of two. They were probably taking a walk to a nearby field for some exercises.

I saw a mother stopping at the same mini market where I rested. The staff put three huge bags of diapers on the front of her motorcycle, then she carried her baby and drove back home.

Everywhere I see small humans being raised by loving adults, with what must have taken enormous but often unrealized amount of thoughts and energy.

I am also a parent and I am tired all the time. But this time, I realize I’m not alone.

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