Consecutive Days Riding: 8 Consecutive Days Blogging: 9
Today’s Mileage: 14 Total Trip Mileage: 82
As I sat on my bike I glanced over my shoulder and paused. I swiftly applied a “could have had a V8” slap to my forehead. What was I thinking? I quickly dismounted and turned the stationary bike around so that I now faced the window looking out over the woods.
As I sat the wheel spinning, the sun broke through the cloud cover just as dozens of yellow leaves left their summer home. They twisted, turned, and tumbled till they joined their recently departed brethren on the forest floor. Then as the wheel spun and miles rolled by, the exodus of falling leafs ceased. Had there been some unseen breeze that set them on their way, or had they waited for the sun, their moment in the spotlight?
As I pondered the point and began to run out of answers the exodus began again. Biologists would have some explanation, based on temperature and humidity no doubt. My wiccan friends might speak of tree spirits shedding their vestments for the year. My guess is in the existence of some unseen breeze in the tree tops! I’m just thankful that they shared this part of their cycle of life with me, this colorful dance number before the final curtain call of winter. I’m thankful that they contribute this season’s costumes to the forest floor clutter where the insect and fungi begin their job of recycling. In the end these decomposers will deposit the basic threads and buttons (nutrients) for the trees’ use in another season’s stage production.
When I take walks in nature I see so many signs and reminders of the phases of nature, especially in the Fall and Spring. Many of my nature poems speak to the occurrence of cycles in the natural world all around us. I believe that it is vital to ponder the significance of cycles in our own lives and the world around us. Why is it important?
I have found in my personal experience that it puts the relevance of things we cherish and worry about into a clearer focus. If we experience a loss or a setback, it is most often useful to step back and ponder our next response. Do we take a different route, pause to look up and look down, retreat, or take a deep breath and try the same route again?
Whether we wait or come at the situation/choice from a different direction, we most often will continue on the same path. Often roadblocks and fears become little more than distractions when we can see them from a different angle, we may even discover a new and different path. How does this relate to cycles? If we see every decision, every experience, every moment as a point on a continuum that takes us from here to there, and then we loop that continuum around till we connect the beginning and end then we have taken a cyclic view. Cycles dominate the natural world, as of day and night, seasons, and lifetimes. These cycles are often experienced as phases, of the moon, of growth. Some cycles are so slow and far reaching that they seem stationary (unfolding of the universe), some last no longer then a blink of an eye (a falling leaf), some begin with a cry and end with a last breath.
I believe that the spiritual journey is a cycle of first awareness (an awakening of the need for change/renewal), then a search (inward and/or outward), then a discovery and often a struggle to overcome some blocking force or dragon (negative thoughts, negative emotions, and/or destructive habits), then the triumphant return and the implementation of the new perspectives and/or habits (reaping the fruits of the spiritual journey).
But the cycle doesn’t stop with the journey’s completions, for like all cycles with time the ending (leaves on the ground, a new connectedness) becomes the fodder for the next season’s rebirth, for the next awakening, fodder for a new need to grow and transcend what was yesteryear’s colors and glory.
A special thanks to the photographers associated with Panramio for the beautiful scenes from along the roadside.