My, what you can see from the seat of your motorcycle. There is the obvious; people on cell phones and what appears to be cars veering out of control with the intent of doing you harm, or an occasional wild animal coming up on the road to get a better look at you, and then – the wonder of this beautiful world around you. Have you ever wondered where that jet in the sky is going? I’ve looked up and counted the jet trails crossing above me only to think of all those people in the plane looking down, also in amazement of this place we call home. For the last few years when I see the path of a jetliner it always takes my thoughts to a particular place.
Just as you settle in on a ride, you slowly open your eyes to the scenery that surrounds you. It begins with a deep breath as you find your rhythm and everything seems to fall into place. This never gets old. Sunrise, sunsets, valleys and hills. The feel of the wind as it pushes you around and you just know that your are really only along for this ride. I’m only a spot on the landscape in a much bigger picture, so with all this going on around me, where do I fit in?
When I’m on my bike I become a participant in a spectator sport. I am moving within the environment that I find so beautiful. As quick as I can appreciate the simplicity of big round bales of hay lining a fence row, I ride into a valley that was created over many lifetimes. A man-made road that leads me past beauty created by the Man Himself. How can I complain about anything when reality says to take it all in. You are here, you’re breathing in and out and life is good – everything else can go in a worry pot.
The motorcycle is my front row seat to the world before me. You may choose to see it from a boat or on the deck by a fire pit and I’m good with that. We’re all different in many ways but also similar in how we process beauty. We see things and translate them in our own language, but the end result is how it makes us feel. Like the feeling I get when I see a jet crossing the sky or the sun coming up, it affects me the same way – it puts me in a place to appreciate what it all represents.
I travel the same roads almost every day but it’s always in the same direction. As the seasons, colors and temperatures change things can look a little different but it’s the landscape and landmarks that we relate to. Some are only a few miles from home while others take us back home.
It’s the long way home. Some days it’s just required to take a different route – one taking us away from the well-worn path we’ve created between point A and B. Remember, it’s the regularity that keeps the grass down. We don’t always have time for a detour, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a need. Just a few extra minutes to see some different scenery – you know, stuff you haven’t seen for a few months or years – to clear your head. We don’t do it enough and when we do, we’re always glad we did.
I travel the same roads almost every day but it’s always in the same direction. As the seasons, colors and temperatures change things can look a little different but it’s the landscape and landmarks that we relate to. Some are only a few miles from home while others take us back home. An abandoned house, an old bridge or a valley that has always made you look – and smile, are always there for us whenever we need them. As a motorcyclist, it can be hard to find a day in January where the long way home can happen, but it always seems to. Sometimes you have to just do it even if there is an internal struggle to follow the same old habit of taking the usual way home.
Why is this so important? It gives us a few minutes for ourselves. It can be just what we need to see our small little world that surrounds us and give us a different perspective on the day. It’s no different from taking a minute from our busy day to watch the sunset, or turning around on your way home to take a picture of something that catches your eye. It can be on a road we have traveled before, but for whatever reason we overlooked it every time. Maybe it’s the time of day that gives us a different light on the same old scenery. We win either way.
I’m lucky to be surrounded by familiarity and memories. For those who know me also know of the area around me. You are familiar with my landscape and landmarks as you know them as well. Take the long way home – not every day, but someday. Pull over and take it all in and let the scenery take you home.