The Journey Ahead

It’s Tuesday evening. I’m nearly all packed. I leave Thursday morning.

I’m quite sure I’ve packed some things I will not need.

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I’m equally sure that I have not packed some things that I will desperately be looking for down the road.

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Speaking of things I will miss, I have never been away from my family for this amount of time. That is one part of the trip I am not looking forward to. Even on short rides, when I see a great sunset, or find a unique store, it never fails that my next thought is about the thrill of sharing it as soon as possible with my wife or my daughters. I love riding two up with them around North Georgia.

A few years ago my oldest daughter and I escaped on an overnight ride to Cherokee North Carolina. I think the highlight for her was receiving permission to be escorted as an underage guest across the floor of a casino so we could get to a restaurant. I will miss her when I see any interesting animal big or small. She is, and has always been, in tune with the natural world in a way few will ever experience.

I will miss my youngest daughter when I meet interesting people and when I see things I can’t fully comprehend. She’s an incredible impressionist, and a dedicated student of humanity. She also is fully in awe of the soaring joy of a mountain rising up beyond a glacier lake.

I will miss my wife constantly. She helps me in everything I do, think, and feel.

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Even though I know how much I will want to turn and around and ask, “Did you see that?!”, hundreds of times along the way, I also have to admit that I’m looking forward to the time alone. There’s a huge aspect of this adventure that is about me taking time just for me. I’ve spent 51 years orbiting the sun. During those trips there have been a lot of different roles that have defined my responsibilities, my perceptions, and my relationships. Moving through them has been it’s own adventure; confusing and thrilling at the same time. It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to stop my everyday life and try to get some distance so I can examine the bigger picture. I need to unwind the big giant hairball a bit and make sure I’m still in the right orbit.

Someone joked the other day that I’m going on a vision quest. Maybe I am. I don’t think I’m going to come back with knowledge of my spirit animal, but I do believe I’m going to seek God with an intensity and focus that is embarrassingly distant most of my days.

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