Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Past, the Future, and Life In Between

Day 388
Blanes to Badalona (Barcelona)
Time: 3:38:00
Distance: 60.2 km
Avg Speed: 16.5 kph
Terrain: Endless Roundabouts
Location: N 41˚ 27’ 3.9”, E 2˚ 15’ 3.0”

Riding a bicycle over the last thirteen months has allowed me a lot of time to reflect on the process of living a life. Before departing to New Zealand, I didn’t really know how my own life would change, just that it would. I figured it was 50/50 that I would want to return to life as it was or branch off into something totally different. Obviously, the only way to figure it out was to turn the pedals and see the result.
I’m not really sure what the outcome will be but I have figured out one thing. I think life is a constant struggle between the past holding us back and the future pulling us forward. The moment when these two actions cancel each other out is when we become suspended in the present. It is when we become immersed in the moment and nothing else is happening.
Today I had one such moment at a random rest stop on the side of the highway. Upon pulling off the road we saw a walkway leading down through a tunnel to the ocean. It was a passageway through the pavement above. It also turned out to be a portal into the space between the past and future, and the present. All morning I had been thinking about the miles we have traveled and the kilometers we still have ahead. Now, in a matter of a few seconds, all of those thoughts disappeared. I was infused with the scenes around me; a man solo climbing with his dog watching below, the sun radiating through the clouds, dancing above the grey sparkling waters of the Mediterranean. I had no worries, no wants, and no thoughts. I was completely in the moment in the world around me.
I know the scene was a strange combination in an unlikely location, but it was so cool and I was totally snapped out of my focus on the past and the future. It made me realize that it doesn’t matter what we have done or what we will do. We’ll just keep pedaling and every once in awhile life will make us stop and live.


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