As clouds, black and boiling, filled the darkening sky, Leah Mast pedaled her bicycle harder, knowing that if she didn’t get home soon, she’d be caught in a downpour. The muscles in her calves felt as if they could give out at any moment, but she ignored the pain, concentrating on just getting home. Leah had noticed the sky darkening before she left the house. So much for thinking she could outsmart the weather.
“Guess this is what I get for taking my bike instead of the horse and buggy,” she muttered, moving to the shoulder of the road as a car sped past. Too bad I can’t pedal as fast as that car.
Right after eating breakfast and helping her mother with the dishes, Leah had bicycled to Family Health Foods, a mile south of Arthur, to buy some massage lotion. She’d scheduled a few people for foot treatments this afternoon and needed to restock her supply.
With determination, Leah continued her trek toward home. Attempting to keep her mind off the leg cramps that threatened with each downward push, she thought about the special relationship she’d had with her maternal grandmother, who had taught her refle”xology. During her lifetime, Grandma Yoder had helped a good many people with her gift of healing.
Leah had the gift, too. At least that’s what Grandma had always told her. Many Amish people in Leah’s community, as well as some Englishers, came to her for foot treatments. Of course she couldn’t charge a set fee for her services, since she didn’t have a license to practice reflexology. But the people who came to Leah always gave her a donation. She treated back and shoulder pain, sinus congestion, sore throats, headaches, and insomnia. She also used reflexology to help folks relax, balance their body, and increase blood circulation. When people came to her with more serious illnesses, she always suggested that they see a doctor, because some things she simply could not help.
A clap of thunder sounded, bringing Leah’s thoughts to a halt. Big drops of rain pelted her body and stung her face. This was a cloudburst, not an ordinary gentle rainfall. If it kept up, she’d be drenched by the time she made it home—that is, if she could see well enough to get there. The rain came down sideways, and Leah could hardly keep her eyes open. She hoped this was just a freak storm that would move out as quickly as possible. Well, there was nothing she could do about the weather except keep pedaling as fast as she could.
The clip-clop of a horse’s hooves caused Leah to look over her shoulder. She guided her bike farther of the road and was surprised when the horse and buggy stopped behind her. The driver’s side door opened, and Adam Beachy called, “Do you need a ride?”
©2015, Shiloh Run Press. Provided with permission to post by Shiloh Run Press, Barbour Publishing.
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