Days Riding: 142 Consecutive Days Blogging: 124
Today’s Mileage: 5 Total Trip Mileage: 996
As I rode my bike today I decided to use this blog to tie up a few loose ends. As many of you who follow this blog know my eldest son is currently in Army boot camp. This week he sent home his boot camp photo. I studied it with a great deal of interest and went to my photo album to view the photo of myself in boot camp. I was in the United States Navy in the early 70s, our uniforms were what we dubbed the “the milkman outfit.”
As I looked at both of these photos I saw two young men, both filled with dreams of the future and a sense of awe at life as it unfolded. One of the young men hopefully has a long future ahead of him, with unknown twists and turns on his life’s path. The other young man is now 40 years older, with many twists and turns behind him and many memories to show for it. I wish my son good luck with the journey ahead of him. I hope he’ll remember my teachings and advice. I know now that good luck has less to do with chance or some external protection and more to do with the choices we make, leaving ourselves options, and thinking a few steps ahead. He’s doing well in boot camp and had the highest rifle qualification score of his unit. I asked him to train well and train hard so that he might return home safe and healthy. In six weeks he finishes his training and will drive halfway across the country with me. We will have a rare opportunity to speak as father and son, as two men, as two veterans!
I wanted to speak again about the spiritual significance of snow. I received a number of comments from blog readers about yesterdays posting. I wanted to share with you comments made by several of my blog viewers. One person noted that reading my blog about snow they found themselves thinking of James Joyce’s book “The Dead” in which snow is symbolic of the paralysis. I hadn’t thought of this symbolism, although I had commented that snow may have less favorable meaning if you have to shovel it! But I remember growing up on the “great plains” where the snow was often wind driven and packed into drifts. Snow can paralyze movement and force people to retreat as it can be deadly. Another reviewer commented that snow reminds them of silence. They noted: “The hectic pace of the world seems to stop dead in its tracks. The snow acts as a vale of muteness on the everyday hub-bub.” I have to agree with this comment. It’s one of the things that I love most about a blanket of snow, it imposes silence and deep snow causes us to move slowly. It reminds me of the power of nature, whether it is the explosion of life in the spring, the colors of the fall, or the silence and stillness of the winter. Nature is an ever present source of guidance and wisdom.
The last thing I wanted to note is the return of the pilgrimage map. Those of you who have been following the blog for some time might remember that early on I posted a map each day noting the distance we covered. For some time now I fell out of the habit of posting the map. I have decided to bring it back. I’m not sure if I will post it in the blog each day or add it as a tab at the top of the page. As you can see we have just entered Daytona Beach we will now turn north, heading up the Palm Coast of Florida toward St. Augustine and Jacksonville.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog. Please hold my son Max in your prayers! I wish to thank my blog followers for their encouraging and thoughtful comments. I do read them and I do appreciate them!
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