To Paradise

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A few days ago I had a day off by myself. I had planned on catching up on chores and obligations, but on a trip to the garage I saw my KLR sitting there, and it was too much to resist. So I got on, figuring maybe a quick ride around the Tahuya loop, then back to chores. I ended up riding to Mt. Rainier. I wrote this when I got home.

It’s that moment. When you’re riding along, and the air smells like pine and cedar and fresh rain and crisp mountain air. And it’s all spiced with a hint of leather, because you throw your gloves in your helmet at every stop.

You’ve avoided the freeways, and if you have to explain why then it’s not someone you want to talk to. Come to think of it, you don’t really want to talk to anyone at all. That’s why the day wasn’t planned. No plans, no announcements, and no invitations. No cell phone, no email or facebook. Just wheels and wind and a wandering mind. The whole point is escape. The further away you get, the lighter the load. You can even ponder, what would happen if I didn’t go back? Not an option, but it all seems possible in the sunshine. On two wheels. Life will pull you back eventually. You can already feel it pulling.

You feel the pull of the universe around every corner, but the wheels are great big beautiful gyroscopes, and they pull you back up every time. Away from gravity, and away from worry and responsibility and bullshit. And for long, comfortable, indulgent but oh so necessary stretches of asphalt there’s just the wind. No stoplights. No traffic. And you’ve never been so sure about anything as you are of this: this is your road. It was designed and built and paved and has been maintained all these years because someone somewhere knew that one day, you would need to escape. You need to run away before you become one of them. You need that stretch of blacktop along the river, and up the mountain and through the sweeping curves amongst the trees. Your soul needs it. Feeds on it. You’re reborn on two wheels. And in the back of your mind you know that it’ll all be there when you get back. The laundry, the dishes, the bills, the empty bank account and the voice mail and text messages and everything else. In the back of your mind, you know. That’s when you downshift, and lean real deep in the next curve. And before you have time to remember that other bill that’s due, that other task that’s late, or that other person that wants that little piece of you, the bike stands back up and you’ve got to throw it into the next corner. You push the handlebars, twist the throttle, and for just a little while… It all clicks. It seems right. Seems worth it.

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3 thoughts on “To Paradise

  1. Sounded like you needed that brief escape 🙂 I’m glad for once you did something just for you1 Sometimes you just need to say the hell with everything and everyone and just do the one thing that gives you joy and peace, you’ve needed to do that for a long time! I just want you to know that I appreciate everything that you do and everything you are, you make me so very proud of you ALWAYS. I love you more than I can put into words…(there will never be enough words!) I Love you out the window up to the sky and beyond! Love Mom

  2. LOVE!! I could actually feel myself riding a bike as I read this, and could taste the air…..You need to start writing books pal….seriously!! Love and miss you

  3. Have you ever considered the short life of the earthworm? Now consider that you are a happy earthworm in someones’s garden just doing your thing, hanging out burrowing in the warm sunny soil. Suddenly one night while just being your wormy self a light shines up above, thinking it was morning you squirm your way towards the light. Several of your worm buddy’s eager to reach the warmth of the sun first rush (as fast as an earthworm can that is) towards the light. Once at the surface they discover to their dismay that the sun is not up but instead it is still night and they are caught fast and can not get away back to their home in the garden.
    Later they find they are not only caught but placed in a very small round container of soil and instead of being warm you and your buddy’s are in a cold place. You and your friends are very sleepy and slow to move, not only that but they are all wound up together in a tangle.
    Sometime later, you and your friends finally.feel the sun again and begin to move when suddenly one of your friends is grabbed, wrapped around a metal object (has very little time to enjoy his new found freedom) when he is launched through the air and lands far away in cold water. Sinking slowly he looks around and sees something dark, a shadow looms out of the darkness and suddenly he is swallowed whole and it is the fish that is caught!

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