Consecutive Days Riding: 65 Consecutive Days Blogging: 66
Today’s Mileage: 10 Total Trip Mileage: 572
As I ride the bike today I feel a sense of joy! Like the Hindu pilgrims who release small offerings on the sacred Ganges River where the currents carry them toward the distant sea, I feel that my blog postings represent a similar effort. I find my inspiration in the world around me. I am honored to receive glimpses of the Divine. I release my thoughts and words like offerings on the great flow of information called the Internet! Once released, these offerings may cross the paths of other pilgrims creating a connection between us. If we are to see the end to divisive issues and beliefs, it will only come about through a connection among people of all faiths: people who find common ground in compassion, love and inclusive beliefs of the divine. There are those individuals and groups who will always oppose our efforts at building such a community. They believe that they only possess the truth and the light of the divine. So be it. It is their choice! We can find our inspiration in the great teacher the Dali Lama, who responds only with compassion and love to those who occupy his homeland!
Today I want to talk briefly about the beach! My virtual pilgrimage affords me the cherished opportunity to view scenes of nature through the camera lens of other travelling pilgrims.
I take in the scenes they have captured and experience a sense of awe at nature. Through these small windows I catch glimpses of the divine.
I enjoy the beach, but not necessarily the beach of sand castles, towels and sun tan lotion. Memories of such beaches hold a place in my heart, but I see the beach as a symbol for the Yin and Yang- Dance of Life. For it is sandwiched between the mystery and experience of life represented by the ocean and the sea, and the inland regions with its sacred maps, histories and symbols, all handed down by earlier travelers. This thin ribbon of sand, the beach, representing a balance between the two forms of “knowing”: through pure experience, and/or through shared words and symbols.
The sea: a world of rhythmic patterned waves, hiding a place of mystery, color, danger and intrigue. You can stand at its edge, you can wade in as deep as you dare, you can snorkel and dive into its depths, or bob upon the surface. It has dangers: sharks, stinging jelly fish, and poison shells. Walking along this ribbon of sand, you will often see hints of mysteries in the shells, the kelp fronds, and the strange creatures that wash ashore.
The land: sometimes dry other times marshy, covered with plants, offering shade and sustenance. With paths travelled by others, with road signs, camping areas, and creatures which we have much in common as they breathe air and walk on two or four legs. The land has its dangers too: crocodiles, cougars, sharks in human form, and guides that will lead you astray. Inland has mysteries: dark forests and high mountain tops, foreign landscapes and the sounds of night creatures.
There are three general approaches we can take as we walk through life. Like the practioners of the more experiential faiths; some hear the call of the sea, live on the surface in bobbing crafts, harvest deep resources, toss aside the shore maps and all but lose their “land legs.”
Like the practioners of the “scriptural” religions some head inland, preferring dry soil and shade trees, staying on well marked paths and following the directions of guides.
Others prefer to straddle the two, finding a balance between the emotional sunsets and sunrises calling you to the sea, and the sense of certainty and comfort which comes from maps and with journeys shared with others. I prefer the beach, with its exposed tree roots and washed up sea treasures, both point to mysteries of the divine.
A special thanks to the photographers associated with Panramio for the beautiful scenes from along the roadside.