The thing about living apart from someone you love is how hard it is to say goodbye. The symbiosis began whittling away 21 years ago when my boys were born. When they were little, I could still protect them. It was hard to watch Louis riding between the cars in Boston, without a helmet, or maybe armor or a force field. I guess it could be worse; he could be in Iraq. The sensation of joy and oneness that we shared on our ride to Walden Pond stayed with me for a while after we said goodbye. But, the sadness crept in around the edges as I waited for the next leg of the adventure to begin.
Eve had driven home on Thursday, and I was left with my bike and a few essentials loaded in my saddle bag. Victor arrived on Friday afternoon and we began the long ride to New York. He is an experienced adventure cyclist, has excellent maps and a great sense of humor, so my worries were soon spinning away in the wind. Amazingly, the weather continued with clear skies and warm temperatures. The hills were many and long. Some people see hills as personal insults, but I learned to accept and enjoy what each hill had to offer. Victor accidentally led us off-course once, resulting in some extra mileage and a huge hill that took us to a place of spectacular views. But, that's a great metaphor for life isn't it?
Taking a trip like this, one gets to see snippets of the myriad ways people live their lives. It's fun to fill in the gaps and imagine the trajectories of each life. It's also tempting to compare my life to other's. But, rather than fall into judgments that usually end up with me as the loser, I try to use the experience to inspire choices. Sucking the sweet juice out of each moment is key, but thinking and planning for the future is good too. I know I want to have more adventures like this one and, when I remember to turn on my helmet cam, I'll put them here to share with you.
The music is Whirl-Y-Reel by Afro Celt Sound System and a little taste of Moby's 35 Minutes.