With the sunset closing in on Salvation Mountain, I continued south along the Salton Sea to the closest town with a chain hotel in it. Google Maps said that was the Best Western in Brawley, California.
By this time of the day, I was hungry, dirty and windburned. I felt self-conscious as my boots squeaked and my pants swished across the hotel lobby to the front desk. There, I was greeted by the happiest person in the world.
As Bubblicious checked me in, she made small talk – asking what it’s like to ride a motorcycle. She was impressed that I was traveling on my own. Maybe it’s a product of where I’m from but I assume that these sorts of complimentary exchanges with service industry people are just tools of the trade. It wasn’t until she chased me down the hallway with the number for a pizza delivery that I started to believe that maybe she was serious. She reiterated her admiration, this time a little more earnestly. And for that moment, I didn’t feel quite so dirtbag-y. I felt… good. Maybe one day that girl will learn to ride.
Lessons, inspiration, living by example – sometimes we are just surrogates of all that and it isn’t up to us. Unseen eyes watch us move through life, silently taking what they need. Maybe you’re just riding along, enjoying the sunshine radiating across your back and a little girl in a passing car sees your ponytail. From that moment on, an ember of possibility burns inside of her.
We are all just seeds.