Saying goodbye at The Robinson's Farm
After lunch we had 12 more miles of awful shoulder-less road. It was really pretty, but really unsafe, too. I was running on pretty low fuel. We camped out at a great campground the night before. The people who ran it were so nice and it was right on the river. We met some guys who live next to the campground who brought us over some wood and a ring as well. Everyone was super friendly, but the dog…
The morning was lovely though and very quiet. I love mornings at a campsite.
After tacking up Soj we said goodbye to the guys we met the night before and started out for a 20 mile ride.
Hmm. Bullitt Lick.
I began writing the words above last night at the Thompson place where we’re staying. This morning Walter and I are sitting in a coffee shop called “Day’s” in Louisville, Kentucky. I love this city! It’s full of coffee shops, bookstores and music stores, big beautiful old churches, commons, health food stores, and little boutiques. People are riding around the little streets on bikes and sitting outside cafes with little espresso cups watching their children play with dogs tied to chairs.
I do wish more things were open. It’s a beautiful sunny day today. The air is pretty much exactly like San Francisco air on a sunny summer day. We are in the back of the café where the lighting is a bit dim so we can edit photos easier, but soon we will enjoy the sun while exploring the city to see what else it has to offer.
I was listening to a program this morning as we drove here about connectedness and how modern technology can pull us away from one another and reality. It can make us overlook incredible things in nature to look at a screen of some sort. The woman hosting the show, Dianne Rehm, mentioned that her husband won’t use a computer and still uses Encyclopedia Britannica to look things up. The guest , William Powers, said there is a deeper knowledge gained from reading a book, but that there are things on the computer that an Encyclopedia might not be able to offer. His point is that it’s good to have both, but there has to be a balance.
It made me think about the country versus the city. I would prefer to reside in the country, but I wouldn’t want to be too far from a city. Both of them have things to offer and although I love the quietness, beauty, and ability to work with the land that the country offers, I love the books, music, theater, dance, museums, and spirit of the city. Like anything, one is not better than the other (well, I suppose I would give country the edge, a whole chunk even), but both have so much to offer.
Powers told a story about a day he was out in his little boat and he dropped his cell phone in the water. He was able to retrieve it, but it was dead by then. He said at first he was mad at himself but then he felt exhilarated by the freedom of it. He then thought about it and realized it had been years since he had given himself total freedom from the electronic world.
So many people say they “just need a break” or “just need to get away”. It’s something we all need to remember is always possible. There is never anything binding us to these ways or any specific routine you’ve put yourself into. Of course there are responsibilities that need to be cared for with dollar bills, but that doesn’t mean time can’t be allowed for yourself.
Dianne Rehm said she cherishes the small amount of time when she reads a book before bed. She said it feels “so rich” and that it’s her favorite time of the day. These little moments are what we all love. I think it’s simply because it’s ours. It’s the same reason I think dreams and following them are so important, because they’re ours. So much of what we have and do is told to us or set up for us, but not a dream and not that little time in bed with a book.
A beautiful thing happened the other day. Three young boys were riding their bikes in town. It was on a little block. The whole scene looked like something out of “The Wonder Years”. As Soj and I passed them one of the boys asked if he could pet the horse. They all laid down their bikes on the side of the road except the boy who spoke to me. His bike was half in the road.
“Don’t leave your bike in the road”, the older of the three said in a sweet, brotherly way.
“Where are you riding from?” the youngest asked me as the older boy moved his bike out of the road.
They all listened as I told him we’ve come from Los Angeles.
“All the way!?” he said
I was amazed at how intently they all listened as I spoke to them. Their eyes were on me with no future question already stored in their heads, just listening to the answer.
We talked for about three minutes or so and then said goodbye.
“Thanks a lot!” the oldest boy said, “sorry to have stopped you!”
My words came out a little chopped because I was a bit taken aback by their courtesy.
“No! You’re…you’re welcome…I was happy to!”, I said.
The three hopped back on their bikes and pedaled in the opposite direction from the way Soj and I were headed. About one minute later, there was the one who had first spoken to me pedaling along beside Soj and I.
“You’re the kind of person who inspires me…to do dreams and stuff”.
I never even told him this had been a dream of mine. I only told then where we had come from and where we were headed. Again, I was taken aback.
“Thank you”, I said.
“You’re welcome. Good luck!”
And that was it. He made a U-turn on his bike in the road and pedaled back fast to catch up with the other boys.
My eyes started to water. What he said was so beautiful, but the fact that he felt the need to come and tell me really choked me up. He felt something and he knew if he told me it would make me feel good. It was such a kind act done solely to put a smile on my face. He just wanted to let me know.
I thought about times when I had been too shy or feared that I might embarrass someone if I told them a compliment or how they made me feel so I kept it to myself. This little boy reminded me that you should always speak if you have something kind to say. It’s so easy to close off those emotions and tuck them away somewhere even though all they would bring out is love. But then again, what scares most all of us more than love?
He wasn’t scared though. He pedaled up to me with confidence and something to say. Whatever restrictions lived years can put on us had not yet hit this 13-year-old boy. Maybe he’s one others will look at with awe because years will never have that effect on him.
It has to be remembered that even if it seems to make someone uncomfortable when you say something nice to them, that person takes it with them and it settles in a place they lock with a key, in a hope chest of beautiful things.