At midnight I just couldn’t stand it anymore…I have been so busy lately that the only riding I have been doing is commuting. Pretty sad considering the gorgeous and balmy weather we have had for the past weeks. Shirtsleeve riding weather in late November is a thing to be savored.
The Dragon was calling. I could feel the big cruiser, parked in her corner of the garage, intently craving the wind and lusting for the highway. Motorcycles are meant to be in motion.
Got to go. Got to go now! Must go fast! Must go now! Ride! Fly! Be free! The black and chrome beast was really itching to run. I may have to watch that unleaded gas…I think it has caffeine in it.
We had 30-40 mph winds out of the south all day. Even at midnight, 35mph winds and 72 degrees. Balmy. The news said to expect a blue northern late this night or early in the morning. A true cold front, they were saying it was going to turn the 35mph south winds on their ear and be blowing 35-40 out of the north within minutes of the front’s arrival. KaWhoosh!
I stepped outside into the warm winds and my soul cried. If you are a motorcycle rider…as opposed to just a motorcycle owner…there is no way that you can NOT ride on a night like this. I bungied my heavy leather jacket and gloves on the back seat, and took off into the night winds in nothing more than a t-shirt, jeans, and light leather riding gloves. I grabbed a pair of clear wrap around glasses and left the helmet stabbed onto the backrest.
“Safe” was not a demand of my soul tonight.
Riding the winds north was pure pleasure. The brisk tailwind made the ride calm, quiet, and smooth. The temperature was perfect and as the speeds increased my soul began to sing.
Occasional waves of clouds would briefly obscure the view, but mostly the sky was clear, the stars were intense, and I could see the universe spread out in amazing detail above the highway. This night the atmosphere was so clear I could see galactic clouds with the naked eye. From my perspective the highway led straight into the stars, and I aggressively twisted the throttle and sped into the sky.
The Dragon, the universe, the winds, and the road were all singing in a mysterious and glorious harmony that encompassed all and infused my soul. I suddenly realized that this particular night, this particular song was unique and just for me, and only I knew the words. Had there been another rider accompanying me, and had that other rider been able to hear, the song would have been just as unique for him or her too.
Traveling outside the mundane world, time was irrelevant and the miles melted quickly away. Truly this was a rare and privileged experience and it altered my perception of the world around me to an astonishing degree. I have always been able to see and experience more than others…the universe is full of magic and just waiting for a willing mind to embrace it. Tonight I embraced it. Tonight I learned even more.
In what seemed like mere minutes I made it over 200 miles before hitting the approaching front. Inside of two miles the wind turned and began roaring back to the south, and the temperature dropped a dozen degrees. The glorious song crumbled into chaos and I nearly wept at its loss, until I discovered that a new song was beginning. I was startled to discover that there is beauty and pattern even in the transition from one song to a new one.
A gas station provided a pool of light in the dark, and a brief return to the mundane world. I grabbed some fuel, a snack, and a coke while I relaxed a bit, and then I donned my jacket and turned The Dragon to the south. The big cruiser seemed to take her lead and head homeward without direction from me, leaving me free to ponder the stars and the wind. Like a spreading pool of water the leading edge of the massive and powerful front is curved. This leading bulge of the front was actually much farther to the west and was already 100 miles further south than I was, and that had the interesting effect on its apparent southward progress from my location. I was on the eastward edge as the front moved south and spread east. Because of the widening as it moved south and my position along that angled eastern edge, from my perspective the front was barreling south at over 60 mph.
So southbound I was, surfing the storm front at over 60 mph and feeling no wind at all! The only noise the rumble of The Dragon, the hum of the tires on the road, and the overwhelming singing of the universe. Only slight speed adjustments were required to remain in the transition zone.
Riding the storm-front, I stared wide-eyed in wonder at the vivid stars and absorbed that astounding, overwhelming music. Shortly I leaned the patterns of this new song and joined in, throwing my entire being, down to the core of my soul, into the melody. Perception altered…the universe, The Dragon, and I merge, dance, part, and merge again…each time the distinction between the independent entities becoming less pronounced. Soon we are one glorious, energetic creature, and if it ever becomes necessary to part, we will each carry a portion and an awareness of the others forever.
I arrived home on the winds, and reluctantly docked the massive Valkyrie in her place in the garage. Totally spent, the intimacy of this experience having drained me completely, I stumbled to bed and immediately fell into deep slumber. This was not the end of my experience though.
I dreamed! And what dreams! The music has not left me, and with the song I can see it all…the stars, planets, the interaction between the physical and magical planes…and my place in the wholeness of it. I study, I learn, and I absorb. And still the song is in my head.
I have been truly honored this night. I sang to the universe, and it answered enthusiastically. We are formed by our experiences; our experiences are altered by our perception; our perception is a choice.
Millions eyed the approaching front with annoyance, seeing it as no more than a change to our beautiful weather of the past few days.
As for me? I found a chance to play in the winds, learned to surf without an ocean near, rediscovered the vivid beauty of the stars, and was honored to plug into the cosmic music that holds it all together. Again I learned, again I felt, and again I know…life is not about where we are going. Life is about how we go there, how we live. Life is a road, and truly the journey is the destination.
Life is a Road…