Mondays are Physical Day here at Taking it to the Streets
There must be some word for when many things come together in a kaleidoscope of layered meaning. I had that experience today – a melange of emotions that were simultaneously keeping me HERE NOW and also spanning decades of my life. And it was all about pure, blissful joy.
As I wrote about in this post and this post I recently got a motorcycle. And took the Harley “Rider’s Edge” class. But today I got to go out on the open roads on my new bike for the first time ever. Prior to our ride today I had an onrush of emotions – mostly stark fear! I promised my new kittens that I did not adopt them to turn them into orphans again. I thought “maybe I really AM nuts” and when my friends showed up I told them over and over again “Hey, I haven’t even been out of second gear.” Kim reassured me “You’re ready for this.”
And you know? I was!
Getting out on the roads, surrounded by competent, caring experienced bikers – two of whom I’ve known a long time, and whom I KNOW have my back, I felt first surprised by how safe I felt with them, and then, when we got out onto country roads I was feeling exhilarated. Holy cow! The wind on my face, the feel of the motorcycle between my legs, the sense of freedom. It was one of those experiences that surprises you because it’s even better than you imagined it would be.
But it was when we got to my very very favorite road – Country Club Road, out on the way to Woodstock, Illinois – that it all came together. A road that has been a solace, a source of inspiration and at times my most direct connection to God; the newfound “refuge of the roads” (to quote Joni Mitchell), being with Kim and Bill and new friend Dawn, and then – like a gold ring hidden in a delicious cake – the scent of lilacs enfusing the hot spring air.
When I was a child – probably 8 years old or so – I had what I now know to be a mystical experience lying in a horseshoe-shaped clump of lilacs in my parents’ side yard in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Lying there, feeling the sun beating on my small body, totally awash in the delicious, heady aroma of lilacs I knew that the purple flowers, the soft grass, the hot sun and I were all the same thing and we were all connected, All One.
So when I drove into the Lilac Air, feeling it on my face, flapping my shirt, smelling it and feeling All One with the road, the bike, my friends, and all of life – I thought – Wow! this is it! This is one of those peak moments that make life worth living. And as for the bike – I thought, Yeah, this is what I was meant to do. Another one of those things I had right back in my 20s (I had motorcycle lust BAD back then but the Preservation of the Species must have kicked in and kept me from buying a bike – else I’d likely not be writing to you today…). Took several decades to get here. But, yeah. This is it.