Sometimes it comes down to really just taking a break from the normal stuff, the routine, the same old same old, the good habits, the bad habits and all things in between. Amazing what a day in the woods will do you for you. It won't solve all your problems. It won't even solve the problems that you wake up with that day, but it will give you hope. I am a firm believer that when you see growth in this world, growth of humans, growth of nature, growth of self, you see the possibility that you can grow....or start to grow against a different backdrop. Somewhere along this path, I stopped growing, got comfortable with life, got complacent, got used to being in the same place; mentally or physically. Got used to less than great people around me. Got used to people who give half the effort. Giving half the effort myself. Not giving at all. Giving to the wrong ones. Not holding the wrong ones accountable. Not holding myself accountable. We are human. We live, we learn, we falter, we grow. I think we can all agree on that. The ride I took Saturday showed me beauty. I got a chance to breathe that mountain air in. That air that I longed for from decades ago in Central Pennsylvania. Be it the morning chill or the night air, that cold air into the chambers and the shock of cold that let you know you're alive. I heard a line from a movie recently....about pain. A positive thing about pain. It's good to feel pain. It lets you know you're still alive. From the first mile to the last mile, I got a chance to take a break from an entire year, felt like an entire lifetime. I got a chance to exhale, not have to be something I am not, not entertain, not lead, not follow, just ride. Natural power in the natural environment. It was a while before I saw another human being. At one point I yelled in the middle of the woods. I knew nothing would happen. I knew that no human could hear me. I knew that the only things that could hear me were that which I could not see; hidden behind trees and bushes, hidden behind clouds, hidden under the water. It's an action that does not receive reciprocation aside from a dying echo. The thought in this day and age that you can yell at the top of your lungs and there is nothing that comes back, is both archaic and primordial. It made me laugh with immature giddiness that you can still do something like that....be alone and have no repercussions. This year has been a journey through loneliness; even among the big city, you get to be alone in your mind with your thoughts. You can be wherever you want to be. Sometimes it is just great to go to that space where you can have at it and get it out....yell at that pain...push it out of your heart and into the air where the echo of sadness eventually dies down.
"Nature understands no jesting. She is always true, always serious, always severe. She is always right, and the errors are always those of man." -Johann von Goethe