Number 1 – Well, I guess it all started with the health scare. I woke up with this thing in my throat and I thought, “This is it! I am going to die!” I completely freaked out. Until hearing the doctor say that I was OK, I had miserable days, living in fear… fear of dying.
Number 2 – Then, with this renewed awareness of impending death, came the urge to take action. I went back to my “bucket list,” and there it was, Item # 1 – “Hike the Appalachian Trail, or the Swiss Alps during summer, or do some other walking meditation. Meet wise teachers, have new insights, and grow.”
Number 3 – Then I watched the movie “The Way” directed by Emilio Estevez, with his father, Martin Sheen, in the leading role. In the movie, the son invites his father to walk with him the Camino de Santiago (“The Way of St. James”), a long and popular pilgrimage route that goes from the south of France, through the north of Spain, to the city of Santiago de Compostela. The father rejects the invitation based on the important and urgent things he believes he has to do, the responsibilities that, in his mind, don’t allow him to take time off and live a carefree life. A few days later he receives a call informing that his son has died in a tragic accident. He goes to France to retrieve the body but rather than return home, he decides to embark on the pilgrimage to honor his son’s desire to finish the journey, carrying his son’s ashes with him along The Way. The pilgrimage, and with it, the time to examine life, has a profound impact on him.
Needless to say that the movie had a huge impact on me. I said to myself, “It is time!”
Number 4 – Then there was Free-Spirit-Steve, my friend, who continues to open my eyes to possibilities. He had recently taken time off and lived his adventure, riding a bike, solo, through beautiful Colorado.
Put these things together, and a few more, and, somehow, here I am. I am not going to walk, but I will be biking. I am not going to hit the Appalachian Trail or the Swiss Alps (at least, not this time), but I will be on the Pacific Coast Bike Route soon. I am embarking on my first solo self-supported bike ride from Portland , OR, to San Francisco, CA, and I plan to share this experience with you.
Wish me luck!