Become like a Child

Yesterday I went for a bike ride to the seaside. It was a blue-sky day and the sun was giving off gorgeous heat. The wind was up and whenever I turned east I had to ride hard against it. I’m living near Dover, in the UK, and the coastline is made up of the famous White Cliffs, which jut out of the sea with magnificent sharpness, their top-edges carpeted with soft, green grass.

As you come inland the topography continues to undulate making for hilly roads. I was beginning to get hot riding up and down the steep streets and I noticed my mind had jumped ahead to my arrival at the beach, my ride home and the refreshments I would have when I got back. My trip to the sea was over before it had begun. Everything in front of me now, the cheek-by-jowl housing typical of English towns, the leaves flashing silver as they danced in the breeze, the puffs of white cloud drifting over Dover Castle in the distance, was invisible. I was missing it all.

The good news is this: I noticed.

I actually became aware that I wasn’t where I was. I realized I was not in reality and had bought in to the fantasy in my head and been seduced by it. With this awareness I could change.

Bringing myself back to the present I felt my body riding the bike. I remembered suddenly what it felt like to be a kid riding my bicycle on a hot summer day. Would I have been thinking about the future when I was seven years old? Maybe. More likely I would have been seeing the world around me, being with it as it happened.

I passed a sleeping white cat curled up on a concrete block. It looked so warm and so content I could actually feel its interior pleasure. If a cat is allowed to curl up and sleep away the afternoon why aren’t we, too?

I rode on, feeling the breath in my lungs and my heart working hard as pedaled. I sensed the wind kissing my face cooling the sweat on my forehead. I heard the rocks pop under the tires as I neared the the sea.

The beach was empty save for two young fisherman and a couple playing in the waves. I found my spot and parked the bike marveling at the way the sun was hitting the cliffs making them glimmer the brightest white imaginable. I lay down and curled up like a cat. Deep rest. Body settling into smooth stones heated warm from the late-summer day. Diamonds on the water. France at the other side. Whispers of prayer to give thanks.

Inspiring Message of the Day: When I realize that I have engaged with my thoughts so as to disappear from the reality before me I will remember what it feels like to be a child and experience the wonder of my existence as it unfolds.

Last Travel Day

Dearest Readers,

From this seat in the departure lounge of Gate A6 at LaGuardia airport I can see a strip of cloudy blue sky out the small, high windows and not much else. This section of LGA doesn’t get a lot of points for interior design but I’m not complaining. I’m just glad I made it this far.

After a full month, the road-trip portion of my travels comes to an end with this afternoon’s flight. I have gathered enough stories for a hundred campfires. I have experienced humanity in all its suffering and all its glory. I have walked a little piece of the Earth with Courage and Love as my steadfast guides. What an incredible trip.

Though I am not heading home to the Yukon today I am heading “home” to Montreal to stay with my sister until she delivers her baby. Apart from a year in Ireland in ’95 I spent a whole decade living in Montreal between 1990 and  2001. Each time I return to MTL she welcomes me back with open arms. Elle dit, “Bienvenue, ma chére.”

What I have learned in this last month is a lot. Each day something new, each moment an opportunity to return to Be-ing. This is why I love to travel! Traveling opens the mind and heightens Awareness. The challenges arising from the travel experience force me to focus, BOOM, into the Now. Always. Right. Now.

Admittedly, I do not do this perfectly. But as I always say, mindfulness is a practice. It’s not a goal we achieve and then we’re done. We do our best and our best is good enough.

But hey, there’s nothing like a 32-day road-trip to make our best even better.

Inspiring Message of the Day: What if I brought the Focus and Faith I rely on when I travel into my daily living experience? Today I will BOOM bring myself back into Be-ing as though I were in unfamiliar surroundings and had to do so for survival.