Friday, April 5, 2013

In Search of the Meaning of Life.

A short story regarding  a bicycle, some black berry brandy, a country trail, an elderly gentleman, and his thoughts....

I turned 60 this past Wednesday. This got me to thinking. I’ve been around for a very long long time and I need to start acting my age, and be wise.  That thought lasted for about 10 seconds.

So with having the day off from work to celebrate my 60th birthday, I set out to spend the day on my bicycle riding in remote peopleless countryside and reflect and seek on what is the meaning of life.

I usually do not do this during my ride but being it was my birthday  I packed along for my journey plenty of “pedaling fluids” to enhance the ride.


My Trek XO2 Cycle Cross bike was my choice of steed for the day. She has been very good to me, with 1000s and 1000s of miles that we have shared together. Hot, cold, wet, rain, mud, you name she has been out there with me, with no complaints.
I was soon out of town and on a county trail that was a mixture of puddles, slush, and interspersed by a few dry spots with snow on the sides. It was like riding through thick peanut butter, for the most part, a lot of work, slow going, but what did it matter? I had no destination, no goal, except just to ride and seek out the meaning of life. 
Riding along, IPOD tunes in my ears, buzzing on life and endorphins I remembered my Black Berry brandy in my reachable “Jerry Bag”.  I took my first sip.
It tasted good, and as I pedaled along, I consumed more and more. Feeling good I noticed some very scenic country side down into the valley and near the creek. I rode over through the woods and sat myself down and took another swig.

Three geese wandered past me and into the creek. I don’t think they saw me, or maybe they just didn’t care. I really wasn’t gaining any insight on discovering the meaning of life, but it didn’t seem to matter much to me at the moment. I reflected on the fact that 100s and 100s of much smarter folks before me have spent their entire life's pursuing after the meaning of life. Theologians, philosophers, all with good intentions, many coming to completely different conclusions. For the moment nothing seemed to matter outside of this little encapsulated bubble I created around myself.  I felt that everything was ok, and why sits and thinks when I could just sits.
I then  noticed the sun getting lower on the horizon, temperatures were dropping, and being 30 miles from home with slow pedaling I got to thinking time to leave. Besides I was out of blackberry brandy. Time to leave this place of total harmony and peace. Time to go back, back to house chores, taking out the garbage, fixing the leaking faucet and setting the alarm clock to wake up and go back to work in the morning.
I will be back to this place in my mind and often as I can. As for finding out what the meaning of life is, it doesn’t seem to matter much  to me when I feel like this. May we continue to ride on, climb our "mountain" and keep exploring ourselfs.
Oh and just one more thing. A Big Big shout out to an unnamed extraordinary competitive cyclist from Iowa. You see this fine young gentleman drove all the up to the Twin Cities to pick up a winter’s supply of dog poop in my daughter’s back yard. Melissa, my daughter had major foot surgery and has been unable to go out and harvest her dog’s Jack, endless supply of poop layered in multiple snowstorms. He did it. Thank you.
CHEERS........ and thanks for visiting.


Anonymous said...

Well said. Happy Birthday.

Dan O said...

Happy Birthday. Compared to most 60 year olds, you're kicking ass...

Anonymous said...

I think perhaps you did find the meaning of life.......

Travel Gravel said...

Any ride with a flask is a good ride. Happy Birthday.