Years wasted. Time spent and keep the change. It comes down to making the most of what you’re given and picking up a little extra a long the way. Search the seat cushions, ashtrays and the top of the dryer for whatever you’re short, because sometimes all we have is pocket change.
Blame it on Old Father Time for being cheap. He knows before the end of the week I’m going to be hitting him up for an advance to get me through another rough spot. Who knows, maybe this time I’ll be able to pay him back. How do we buy more time? We can’t. It’s all borrowed with no refunds or returns.
As we get older we find every minute has a price tag. To say “precious moments” might even be an understatement when it comes to the older we get. When our age and shoe size matched, time wasn’t a big deal. We had plenty and we didn’t care if we wasted it. Save it? Impossible. We burned through it like there was no tomorrow. Now, we wonder if there really is a tomorrow.
If there is one thing we need to do more of it would be to spend our time where it does the most good. Throwing our loose change in a can for a rainy day is great idea as long as that rainy day comes. What’s that old saying? You can’t take it with you, so spend your wealth with those who mean the most to you. Your time is the most valuable thing you have – not that fist full of coins from under the front seat of your car.
Spend your time doing the things that make you the happiest. Whether it’s watching, listening, participating or just being, in the end you don’t get to keep the change.
You might say it can happen just about anywhere. Sitting on a hillside watching the sun lay its head down after a long day, the quiet surrounding you tighter and tighter as it grows dark, or sitting on a rock at water’s edge as the waves come in to greet you. Peace. Center. This is what it’s all about it, as you struggle through the days feeling pulled in all directions – and for what? To have a few moments like this, where we find what we’re looking for within ourselves. It takes the beginning or the end of something to put it all into perspective. The constant motion of water, the sun coming up in the morning to start the day or the sunset to put an exclamation point at the end of another day in our lives. We seek these few precious seconds out of a day that has only so many to choose from. But we find them – they’re just mixed in with all the rest.
Even the clear sky, lit from a full moon, can give us pause. We often feel the need to see something bigger than ourselves to jar our senses and rattle our being. I find a lot of these necessary fragments of time from behind the handlebars of my motorcycle. It’s a combination of direction, smells, sights and sounds that put me in my place. Life is so much bigger than the road I’m on. I’ve seen the power of a storm as I’m heading right into it – and the rainbow that follows. It’s only water, right? I often talk of the sun coming up in my mirror as I head West, or the sun setting as I roll down the highway, but mere words can’t do it justice. It’s an attitude of humility that surfaces and suddenly it’s me who becomes those precious few seconds in time. I’ve been on this planet for fifty-plus years, but to this planet my life is the equivalent to the blink of an eye.
I need these “larger than my life” moments to set me straight, but it isn’t always nature that causes it. The faces of my grandchildren can bring even the most difficult day to its knees and it makes me realize that those few precious seconds we have are just that – few and precious. So whether it’s from the seat of your motorcycle, hands and knees dirty from the garden or standing perfectly still as the evening comes; take it all in as it’s only a blink of an eye.
Road trips can change you. The more time you sit in the saddle watching the miles go by, the horizon change and the sun move from one spot to another, you realize you are getting closer to something as you move further away from where you started. As the scenery changes so does our frame of mind, and as we stop and mingle with the locals, we realize we are all the same no matter where we’re from, and they are just as curious about us as we are of them. “Where are you from” is the universal question, but it really means “I wish I had a motorcycle like you.” We know deep down we will probably never meet again, so we say our goodbyes until the next gas stop where we start a new conversation about our origination and destination.
Reflections about days gone by and past trips come to mind, as well as images of people we’ve known our whole life and those we’ve met along the way. They become clear as the sky above us. Who we are and who we want to be is a constant knot in our head but it all seems to untangle on the road and sort itself out. The greater the distance we ride, the longer we have to sort the dirty laundry we call our life. It’s easy to say that when every trip ends we are neatly folded, with a clean and fresh outlook on each and every day. At least until the clothes hamper gets full again.
” The greater the distance we ride, the longer we have to sort the dirty laundry we call our life.”
We are determined to make each mile count because as all trips start, they too will end. “If only I had one more day” or something along those lines always seem to escape from our lips. No one hears it so it just seems to get lost somewhere on the way home. Where does the time go? A week at work lasts what seems like two weeks in non-motorcycle time, but a week’s vacation is like a weekend off. Every road trip takes us through a time warp where clocks stop and days disappear right before our eyes, only to reappear during the work week. Ah, so that’s where they go.
So as we get closer to whatever it is that is pulling us away from the everyday life we live, we know, that at some point that everyday life will win. We return to a normalcy we so tried to outrun; to a place where time didn’t matter and the water tasted different. Boy, do I need to do laundry.