I rode my bicycle to Uncle Bob’s yesterday. It took twenty-two minutes. He was putting tools in his truck, on his way to The Farm to work on the tractor-hauling trailer. I got a little nervous and asked if he was bringing the tractor home. I reminded him of the promised tractor-driving lesson.
“I’m not bringing it home until the middle of November. There’s nothing to driving a tractor…nothing to it.”
I went about my garden chores and went to the post office. Then I contemplated which way I would pedal home. I live on a “ridge” and every road home involves hills. In a car, the physics of climbing a hill are overcome by the explosive energy available in a gallon of gas. It’s easy to forget how much power it takes to overcome gravity.
I’m not going to talk about Peak Oil and physics today. I’m thinking about the psychic energy it takes to climb life’s hills. There is sometimes an expectation that change will be like a ride in an automobile and one can just “mat it” to make it happen. That expression would make a great marketing campaign for a car company, wouldn’t it?
“Mat it to make it happen.”
It’s not that easy.
I was having an e-mail conversation with my brother about life transitions, speed, and distance. He said, “Cars make distance shrink and I think it changes how we measure many things, not only geographic space.”
Those were the things I was thinking about while pedaling west on the Bowdoinham Road yesterday. There will always be hills ahead, but I couldn’t help but wipe a little tear from the corner of my eye as I made the turn onto Route 9. I was overwhelmed by a hundred emotions, mostly gratitude.
All the roads in my life have led me home.