Sunny buttercups and their many memories of childhood. Bouquets clutched in tight fists, holding one flower under my chin waiting to be told how much I liked butter. We thought the fields dotted with floral sunshine were beautiful. No one told us that the invasive weed known as Creeping Buttercup was poisonous when eaten fresh by cattle and horses. Now I understand the rusty barbed wire surrounding the fields. Barbed beauty – an oxymoron.
The day this photo was taken I was attending our church picnic. Our choir director arrived a little later than the rest of us who had driven the twenty minutes from the church… riding her bicycle. Ellen Lewis takes every opportunity to get in a ride because she’s been in training for a full year to participate in this weekend’s Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, benefitting BC Cancer Foundation.
Some of her reasons for participating are posted on her page of the Conquer Cancer website. One of those reasons is her brother who is a cancer survivor and who also participates in the ride each year. But what she doesn’t mention is that she has never done anything athletic like this before, and when she signed up for the ride, she also made a commitment to get in shape and lose weight. In less than a year she has reached her goal, a weight loss of 128 lbs. That kind of determination and commitment is a wonderful thing.
Cancer is an ugly disease – I can tell you that from personal experience – but amid that ugliness there is hope. I know that sounds like another oxymoron, but the hope is evident in the monumental fight to find a cure, and in people like Ellen who are helping to make it happen.
I wonder if there’s a connection between the colour of those buttercups and the riding gear being worn by Ellen and her team. Nah… probably not.
If you’re one to say a prayer, add yours to mine for her safety and the success of the ride – it will be a grueling two days this Saturday and Sunday, as she joins the thousands of other cyclists riding between Vancouver, BC and Seattle, WA.
June 21 Update
Ellen and her team safely completed the ride along with over 2700 other riders. She exceeded her original financial goal and raised $4,136, while her team, led by her brother Sam, raised an amazing total of $61,237. Well done!