Saturday, January 05, 2008

A Reflective Pause

Today I am in New Orleans celebrating my 52nd birthday and completion of approximately
ten thousand miles of bicycling around the USA. Since August of '06 I've
ridden across the north, down both coasts, up the Mississippi, and across the south,
passing through 28 states. The experience has taught me about myself, about the
American people, and about bicycles.

I've learned that a bicycle is not only the most efficient tool to transport
me and whatever load I choose to carry anywhere on land, but that it is a transformative
tool. Pedaling a bicycle continues to make me stronger, calmer, and clearer minded.

I've learned that the American people, like people everywhere, are resourceful,
generous, and thoughtful. They are generally distrustful of the federal government,
centralized corporate cartels, and mainstream media. At the same time, they feel
compelled to buy into those systems with their time and money.

American communities are tragically broken, largely because of our mobility. The
same force that has made us such an interesting cultural salad bowl has undermined
our sense of security at the tribal level and installed a broad but shallow national
culture. Most American people are full of irrational fears.

I now know that I can accomplish any goal one step at a time. If I let my needs
be known without demand or manipulation, they will be satisfied. There is very little
that I truly need to be healthy. Gratitude is the key to my happiness and service
the source of my joy. I am a minuscule but vital element of a complex universe ruled
by love. Things seem to work best when I choose each of my actions responsibly,
while trusting broader guidance to a higher power.

Hoping your experiences have been as satisfying and that you will share what you've
learned with me.

| _`\;,_ plan to ride from home
| 22 SEPT - World Car-Free Day


Blogger Vernon Huffman said...

This was actually written on 24 Dec. I just didn't get around to posting it here.

Saturday, January 5, 2008 at 9:25:00 PM PST  

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