Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dirt, Bugs & Mindful Thinking

As I cruised down the now dusty dirt road at 5:15 p.m., dried from a morning shower that had let loose five minutes before arriving at my workplace, I braked, listening to brake pads scrape dry gritty rims. Then I noticed how filthy my bike had become from the short downpour. However, I didn't have much time to lament the status of my bike because at that moment a bug entered my mouth...ack, gasp, spit to no avail, ugh, cough, oh yuck. I somehow swallowed my first bug of the commuting season.

It was a humid afternoon. To the south blue sky; to the north dark streaks hovered; to the west sunshine streaked earthward through more grey clouds. It felt like unsettled summer weather. The heavens might open up at any minute and douse me once more. But this time I would welcome the relief. And perhaps the rain would clean my bike too.

And so it was that I noticed the tree frog trill, a lone dove resting on a wire, a crow atop my favorite shag bark hickory tree as I continued homeward. My thoughts continued as such, alight to the natural world, yet also listening to lawnmowers making their first cut in the grow-mow cycle. A glance in my rear view mirror when rumblings stir from behind and ever mindful of oncoming traffic in case an ansty driver decides it's safe to pass when it's only an incoming cyclist approaching at a snail's pace.

I got to thinking about the word "mindful". How it's popular with the overtaxed or over-texted crowd. Or those seeking clarity in their life. I suppose it's kind of like yoga, which I do occasionally practice, but it's the stretching I find is most beneficial, though I presume others also enjoy the quiet relaxation.

But as my thoughts churn along with my wheels, I realize that mindfulness is what I do on my commute. I'm aware of my road situation, yet my mind is free to wander, to be creative, to observe, mull, concentrate, write, listen, and focus. To be present. A practice that opens my mind. In a rain shower, sweating in humid afternoon, or breathing hard, spinning.

Ah, I believe the word can conjure many I leave you with this thought: at least be mindful and respectful of insects. I nearly inhaled a second one by the time I arrived home.

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