Consecutive Days Riding: 16 Consecutive Days Blogging: 17
Today’s Mileage: 12 Total Trip Mileage: 159
As I mount the stationary bike today I am a bit sore and tired. Besides riding yesterday I also dug up several large ferns in the woods and transplanted them into the back yard next to the river. I then collected and burned some fallen branches. It felt good to get my hands into the rich soil, a physical connection with the earth. Ever since I was a young child I was always fascinated with fire. I enjoyed burning the trash as I got to watch the dancing flames consuming the material, leaving what seemed to be so little ash. I see this as recognition of the cycles of the natural world, whether it is by decomposition or fire, what was once living returns to the soil for reuse.
Yesterday I spoke of doubts that were nagging at me. Working in the soil and tending the fire helped me put them into perspective. Another thing that can help us find balance between our doubts and the gifts that life delivers is music! As I sat in the Doctor’s office on Friday (see yesterday’s Blog) with a growing concern for my partner’s health, the song by Miley Cyrus: It’s a Climb came over the radio. As I listened to the lyrics, I found myself lifted up and reminded that it’s not the mountain (ill health), an arbitrary timetable or finish line on the other side. The important thing is to make this climb, together and make it a source of deeper intimacy and strength. Choices and circumstances have brought us to this point, this mountain. We can not turn back. We’ve got to climb!
Every step I’m taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking
But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high
There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb
Music like symbols can be a source of inspiration and lessons of wisdom. As I walked the woods digging up ferns I had to attend to obstacles like tangled brush and low hanging branches. I was reminded of a song by Ani Difranco entitled As is. The lyrics remind me of the need for a balanced process as we walk though life.
We have to look up at times to see where we are going. If we get too absorbed in the litter at our feet we are likely to miss a turn, or bang our head on a low hanging branch. If we keep our head up focused on distance scenery, we will be thinking of what is to come. We will miss the beauty and treasures at our feet and risk getting tripped up by vines and fallen branches. The key to walking in the woods, in life, is a balanced glance up – glance down rhythm and to keep moving. If you need to focus on the ground at your feet for more then a moment, stop and do so!
cuz when I look around
I think this, this is good enough
and I try to laugh
at whatever life brings
cuz when I look down
I just miss all the good stuff
when I look up
I just trip over things
As seen in DiFranco’s lyrics, she expresses healthy attitudes of acceptance and humor. It’s amazing how quickly a song can lift our spirits, helping us to scale a mountain in a balanced manner.
A couple of quick notes, I will soon be adding a video component to the Pilgrimage Site visits. In addition, I’ll be retooling the “look” of the Blog to better reflect the scenery. Watch for these changes.