There are a lot of different ways people ride motorcycles. Some folks listen to music, on speakers or through headphones. Others have phone conversations with friends or intercom conversations with their riding partners. I like to ride in silence. And think. And sometimes not think. Regardless of whether you are on a bike or in a car how do you ride? Consider this quote:
“When we are driving, we tend to think of arriving, and we sacrifice the journey for the sake of the arrival. But life is to be found in the present moment, not in the future. In fact, we may suffer more and more after we arrive at our destination. If we have to talk of a destination, what about our final destination, the graveyard? We do not want to go in the direction of death; we want to go in the direction of life. But where is life? Life can only be found in the present moment. Therefore, each mile we drive, each step we take, has to bring us into the present moment. This is the practice of mindfulness.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh
Who can argue with that? I can! It’s easy to drift away from the present when you’re riding. You can slip into thinking about past events, hurtful things that happened, mistakes that were made, things you wish you had said, or hadn’t. Or you can slip into the future, dreaming or worrying. I have to keep reminding myself that the present moment is all that matters. Sometimes I repeat an anthem:
What do we want?
When do we want it?
God, (if you believe in Him/Her) can only reach us in the present.
And, my favorite line: you have to be present to win!
So when I ride I try to let go of thinking about my destination, my past or my future. I forget about time. (My clock flew off the bike last year on another cross country trip- see the blog about tempus fugit -time flies!) I try to sink into the present: the smells, the sights, the sounds and the soul’s sense of gratitude. Lots of healing in that mood, I tell you.
So why not stop at Barnett’s Harley Davidson in El Paso, Texas, the “alleged” largest Harley dealer in the world? I did and it was. Thousands of parts, accessories, tee shirts, hundreds of Harleys and a whole other building with other motorcycle brands. Amazing place. For a while, I got lost in the place.
I finally made it to Big Springs, Texas. Over 400 miles. The motels were expensive but I found a cheap Motel 6 room, got a couple of Corona’s, checked that the Atlanta Braves had won their match (they did) and the rest is, as they say in Ireland, “Bob’s your uncle.”
I want to head out early tomorrow but we’ll see. I keep wondering where I will be on the 4th of July. I trust that I will, somehow, be in the right place. There’s a Latin expression, Amor Fati, meaning, the love of one’s fate. I’ll end up where I will end up, and the place will be right.