As the trip is nearing the end, I am savoring EVERY scene along the road, loving every sense of freedom that comes with being on the road with a bicycle and a tent. The "real world" ceases to exist when you live outside all day everyday, whether great weather like today or the days when the rain was covering my glasses so it was hard to see 10 feet ahead of my front wheel. I enjoy my immediate world right now. The simple red barn building, the abandoned chicken houses, and the overgrown farmstead show the heartbeat and hopes and dreams of those that built them in the first place. Their immediate world right then.
The family that built this house and plowed these fields and planted these trees never focused on a day that they would no longer live in this magnificent house, the tree would no longer be be a fort to climbing children, and farm animals would no longer fill the out buildings. Everything is now deserted. I'd love to walk through the rooms of this old place and feel the history of dreams gone by. I am so GRATEFUL to be able to stop and enjoy what still stands today. The sun is hot on my bare arms today, the flies are buzzing as I scoot through the tall grass taking pics. I almost rode right by cuz I have seen many of these abandoned farms along the roads as we have been riding. Today I stopped. The trip is almost over and I want to cement in my head all these memories, and photos help.
The old, wavy, original glass that remains in that picturesque arched window at the peak of the house and the gingerbread that frames the roof, and even all the black shutters, and wide, original wooden siding, remind me that the folks that designed this house, didn't want just another box, they wanted their dream house to have extra special touches. They must have been so proud when it was completed. They probably never thought that one day circumstances would change and their dreams would stand empty.
But even around broken dreams, other dreams, very different and maybe not as strong, joy can exist. They probably never thought an artist bicyclist with packs on her bike and an iPhone camera in hand would get much joy, stopping by on the side of the road and documenting their part of history in this county. And hopefully create a painting of their hopes and dreams one day. That many will enjoy.
We never know what the future holds, so I choose to live each day to the fullest. We never know how our every work-a-day existence will affect those that come after. We are passing through and creating memories that touch others in ways we may never imagine. Live your passions as best you can. You may never know who will be blessed by what you do.
Today I am being reflective of this incredible experience of traveling by bike. Even as I write this, I must admit I have a huge sense of not wanting this to end. Happens every time. When we take a chunk of time away from the urgency of everyday life, it's amazing to me how our minds can shift and rest. And then we turn another page on the calendar and poof! we are back in the midst of what we let go of days before. So all the work that stopped for 23 days, begins again. And after a few days back in "the midst" we are good to go and grateful for that also. We are very flexible beings.
The last day finds me traveling more back roads through woods and tiny towns along the way. All beautiful, serene. So great that the last day of traveling is hot and sunny, even a tail wind now and then as the road twists and turns. Mostly very light traffic.
Stopped along the way and ate my last donut- it wasn't even that good, lol, it's just this is the last day of riding. There will shortly no longer be a need for 3000 calories a day. Alas, I must admit that is a delicious part of riding all day long every day.
I want to go back and re-ride the last day again. And again. And again.
Tomorrow there will be one last blog from this trip. Transitions...
Thanks for riding along.