My mother in law lives in a small town in Maine. So small, it feels like you could throw a rock from one side of it to the other. (And I suck at throwing.) Each year that small town hosts a great Fourth of July parade and an all day street fair. It’s the stuff that postcards from New England are made of.
Even though there is stiff competition from things like frog races and a boat parade, my favorite part of this day-long celebration is always the book sale. Tables and boxes of donated books line a parking lot and for a quarter each, you can walk away with an arm full of treasure.
In years past, it wouldn’t have been unusual for us to go home with a big stack of books. More books than we make time to read, really. The truth is some of those books spend a long time hanging around on the shelf just waiting to be noticed. We brought them home for a reason but life can be distracting. Sometimes it is just a matter of the mood not being right for a particular title. Books get read. Eventually.
It just so happens that, I read one of those dormant books this week:
(This is the point in the program where we don our tinfoil hats)
I know, I know. People get turned off by corny new agey, pseudo-religious fiction. I get it. But, man… it was like I needed to read this book this week. Of all the books on the shelf, this title wagged it’s finger, beckoning me “Come closer, baby. Read me. You know you want to.”
Indeed some of the book was hokey and I thought the ending was lame. But peppered throughout the story were philosophical nuggets that were enough to keep me turning the pages. There were passages that seemed like they were plucked out of my own thoughts.
“…we’re beginning to glimpse an alternative kind of experience…moments in our live that feel different somehow, more intense and inspiring. But we don’t know what this experience is or how to make it last, and when it ends we’re left feeling dissatisfied and restless with a life that seems ordinary again.”
When we returned from our Alpine riding trip in the fall of 2014, I experienced a heavy trip hangover. It was awful. Of course I should have been filled with happiness and joy that I got to experience such an amazing trip, sharing time with people I love. Instead I came home and went into a funk which I couldn’t shake for weeks.
When I was away I felt free. I didn’t think about work or being an adult, I just existed moving from one happiness-pursuing activity to the next. My goal each day was to keep myself safe and to enjoy wherever the road took us. It was blissful in it’s simplicity.
In addition to helping you feel emotionally free, being out in nature changes your perspective on things. You disconnect from the superficial ties you’ve established all throughout your day-to-day existence and reconnect to something inside of you that seems to go to sleep from 9 to 5. Or it does in my case, anyway.
I feel like that trip changed me as a person on a level that I haven’t experienced before. It could be that I am more open to getting to know myself. Or maybe I’m giving myself permission to feel my feelings without shame as they’re unfolding. Previous versions of me were so wrapped up in speed, noise and being strong at the cost of being honest with myself. I didn’t feel my travels as deeply as they deserved.
Maybe I’m just different now.
“…ever had a hunch or intuition concerning something you wanted to do? Some course you wanted to take in your life? And wondered how it might happen? And then, after you had half forgotten about it and focused on other things, you suddenly met someone or read something or went somewhere that led to the very opportunity you envision?”
This has absolutely happened to me. Coincidence? Synchronicity? Subconsciously spinning plates to make something happen? What is it?
This article in the New York Times popped in to my newsfeed on Sunday: A Dream, or a Premonition Leads to a New Beginning – by Mary Morris.
“…I tumbled into bed and had a dream that I had gone to Richmond, Va. (a place I’d never been), and that Richard (my daughter’s biological father) was coming to kidnap her and take her into Canada, and I’d never see her again. I was desperately seeking someone who could stop him at the border.”
Twenty-five years later I still think about that dream. Was it a coincidence or a premonition? Did I foresee this future, or did I make all of these decisions because of a dream?
Did she really get a glimpse in to her own future or set it in to motion? I don’t know. A part of me wants to believe that we visualize and shape our destinies in to what we want them to be. Don’t we do this to some degree in small doses, day in day out?
Do I believe our lives are mapped out from day one? No.
Do I believe things are constantly in flux? Yes.
Have there been coincidences in my life that hardly seem like merely chance? Yes.
Above all else, I don’t really know what forces, or energy, or whatever you want to call it are at work in our lives. There are just some things that are beyond the grasp of my comprehension.
What does all of this have to do with motorcycles?
Well – I’ve been having recurring daydreams about taking riding trips and meeting specific people. At first I thought maybe they were just fanciful imaginings. But there are a few people that keep coming to mind. Maybe there is something I need to learn from them? Maybe they’ll be kind enough to share a cup of coffee and their stories with me.
Will I set these ideas in motion and will the universe allow our paths cross? We shall see.