After almost two months in the shop, Comet is back up and running. She looks like she was never in an accident and rode beautifully. The one difference? They couldn't get a black tag bracket so they asked if I minded a chrome bracket. It's a Harley, so Chrome was more than welcome. And so it was that my first modification was performed! That first ride home was exhilarating. Lynda drove me to Battley Cycles to pick up the bike on a Saturday, which meant hotdogs and soda for their weekend. Summer was gone and we were in the last gasps of autumn. Which meant that weekend outdoor picnics at the dealership would likely be coming to an end.
I missed writing all through October. Why? I don't know. I felt spiritually disconnected until I was riding again, and perhaps this affected my writing pace.
One of the things that I've noticed is how hard it is to tune out the surface noise. I don't mean ambient noise, but the surface noise of the mind. My mind is constantly thinking, evaluating, speculating, and commenting on what is going on, or on some matter in the past, or perhaps some future event. A near constant din of inner monologue. Most of the time, this is okay, but when I am trying to connect to the divine, to the spiritual, I want mental calm and peace. I need the inner monologue to subside so that I can actually enjoy the silence and meditate.
When I'm on the bike, however, the inner monologue subsides and I have calm. Mental and spiritual calm. Time to simply be. How often do we do that? Just be. So often, there is a multitude of things pulling at us and demanding our immediate attention. When I ride, those things are gone. It is just machine, man, and the open road under God's blue heavens and Mother Nature's green earth. It doesn't get more spiritual than that.
I was back on the bike to enjoy the beautiful colors as the leaves changed and then eventually fell away. The process is not complete, but there is a lot more space between the branches than not and the usually green scenery around me is a mix of browns and grays. My rides home are dark, as the days are shorter. The mystery of the woods is a mystery no longer as I can see at a glance what is normally hidden by the veil of leaves. With the veil lifted, I can see the many bare trees, the creek beds and in some instances, the homes built way on the other side of the wood. The skies are magnificent as they always are, but the sun sits a little differently in them during the winter months.
But it is the change in the seasons that ads another dimension to the spiritual. It is easy to see why ancient myths arose depicting the annual death of a nature goddess who would be reborn each spring. But a thoughtful look reveals not death, but the shedding of her summer regalia in order to prepare for the coming year's mantle of greenery.
And with the winter months come the winter celebrations. Harvest and Yuletide, and the new year. With the celebrations will come the preparations for celebrating Christmas, with all lights and tinsel. And of course the occasional snowfall. The lights and the crisp cool air make for a magical, whimsical time. The malls and the stores are decorated and a feeling of good will comes to many, who are suddenly moved to a more charitable mood with the joy of the holidays.
Eventually, the holidays will be over and we will be in the dead of winter. But only for so long, as spring will come crashing through soon enough. Life will find its way back to the world and color will return to the trees and the ground.
Ride through it as much as you can. Take it all in. Be mindful of it. Appreciate it while the time is here. The winter months are a time of reflection and peace. What better time to ride?