In Santa Cruz County, a few miles back in the redwoods, is a Buddhist retreat.
In order to see the Buddha (there are several there), one must ride up the steepest hill in Santa Cruz (26% grade). At least it is the steepest paved road I have ridden here, and I have ridden most of them. It does not seem possible that a road could be built on such a steep grade. I used this hill as a yardstick of health as I was trying to recover my strength after an illness. Even today sometimes I can make it to the top and sometimes I cannot. But each time in my past efforts I would mentally mark the spot where I was forced to stop, until finally this year I made it all the way to the top. I was ecstatic even though I had not regained all of my strength. I am determined I will.
It is said that meditation, prayer and adoration change the world. I am fortunate that there are so many places of worship in Santa Cruz with good people selflessly benefitting others. I am sure that this had a great deal to to do with my recovery. That, and simply being the steepest hill in Santa Cruz. I am lucky that things are always working out for me. I am so grateful.