Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Traveler

The wanderlust is sated; I am no longer obsessed. I can pass by my motorcycle without planning maintenance, modification, or upgrade. I overlook the Dennis Kirk Off Road catalogue on the kitchen counter. My focus has widened.

I reveled in adventure last week. Many things were seen and experienced that are denied to a casual passerby on a highway. My brother and I forded streams, overcame obstacles, broadened our riding skill, enjoyed the company of family, exchanged pleasantries with folks in parts hitherto unknown to us, witnessed the fruits of an agrarian life removed from the burdens of modernity, and benefited greatly from the kindness of strangers.

Folks seemed to recognize we were on a Quest. Outfitted as we were, we could easily have been taken for hoodlums out to trespass and depredate, yet we were waved by, yielded to (often at great inconvenience), and fare-thee-welled as worthy travelers.

An entire bridge crew in Mississippi ceased work and relocated earthmoving equipment over our protests to allow us passage. An old man left the security of his home to check on two strangers fording a hazardous stream nearby and offered future accommodation. Innumerable folks passing by on a dusty road stopped to offer local knowledge and geographic aid. I offer the above examples as evidence God protects fools and children for I reckon we are often both.

I am home now and my girls have need of me so, for a time, The Traveler will step aside. I gratefully resume my duties as father and husband.

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