Friday, August 28, 2009

A Smooth Ride

Hey there-

In my last post I mentioned that my mantra while I was doing a little off road biking recently was "look where you WANT to go".

I learned this useful phrase the first time I ever did any kind of mountain biking. I was with my best friend, who was an experienced mountain biker (and WAY braver than me), in the mountains of Colorado. I had no helmet and the words of my mother as we parted following my graduation from college the day before were ringing in my unprotected head.

"Don't forget to get health insurance". I think she was a little excited to have just completed the task of successfully raising and educating seven children.

As I attempted to make it down the steep trail full of rocks and roots my friend kept telling me to look where I wanted to go, not at what I was trying to avoid, and the bike would follow. Try as I might I just kept staring right at those mini-boulders in my way, mentally pleading for them to remove themselves from my path, and sure enough I ran smack into most of them.

Once we successfully, and slowly, made it to a paved trail I vowed never to go mountain biking again. I am quite certain that my friend also vowed never to take me mountain biking again.

While I have never returned to the mountains of Colorado to do any biking I did find myself doing the occasional off-road trail with Bob here in the Midwest, and now with my boys. But I admit, I still prefer a paved trail, a smooth ride through a shaded overhang of trees, past farmlands and lazy rivers.

What does this fact say about me and how I proceed with my life?

I prefer a smooth ride, it's true. I like when things work out according to plan. I like when events start on time and people live up to my expectations. I like when my checkbook balances and my children do their chores without a fuss. I like when couples happily grow old together and when people live to a ripe old age and die quietly in their sleep.

I like when there are no boulders or roots in my way.

But, inevitably, there things that happen that put a kink in the plans. Even paved trails have their twists and turns, the occasional stone in the way. Sometimes husbands die before they reach a ripe old age. And those plans of growing old together don't come to fruition, no matter how carefully I planned.

So now what?

I can't will the boulder away by staring at it; but I can look where I want to go, be brave and continue on the path, move beyond the boulder, and look beyond the next one as well.

Thanks for checking in-


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