Sunday, November 23, 2008

the grotto, revisited

city creek canyon, november 23, 2008.
cold. crisp. clear. invigorating. refreshing.
the beautiful grotto at the top, small patches of snow still scattered across the road. sun peaking over the hilltop, lighting the statue-like rock formations on the high northern wall, but not reaching the place where we shiver and refuel and rest our hearts before we head back down the winding, leaf strewn road.

I fear that I am beginning to take all these experiences for granted.

as with all things in life, nothing ~ not even a state of mind ~ stays the same. therefore, my enthusiasm and excitement about my cycling experiences is bound to change over time. a canyon seen for the first time from a bike is still the same canyon seem the twenty-ninth time from a bike, but to experience it the same way each time is unlikely. I am still in the honeymoon phase, where everything is new(ish) and wonderful and amazing. but little wisps of repetitive-itis have already slipped into my riding, when I wonder to myself, do I really want to be riding that same road again today? do I want to climb that overpass, do I want the hassle of that intersection, do I want to climb up that hill again and again?
nothing lasts forever.
not our pain, not our joy. not our boredom and not our passion and not our enthusiasm.
a teacher in my high school told me the story of King Solomon's ring inscribed with the words and this too shall pass. these words were supposedly suggested to him by a selection of his wisest men, to be used as a way to change a depressive state. for the longest time I used those words in that same way, to help me deal with difficulty or unhappy times. but it's not until the last few years that I began to accept the opposite side of the coin: that the joyous, amazing, wonderful or passionate times will not last, either. they, too, will pass away.
nothing lasts forever.
everything changes.
and this is how it's meant to be: we live in this every-changing world where stability is fleeting. we work so hard to form security and safety around us, and we learn the most when it is taken from us.
so every ride matters. none can ever be repeated exactly as it was in the past, and none will ever be the same in the future. I may pass through the honeymoon and fear the "taking things for granted" phase, but if I hold true to what I believe in, that dreaded phase will never arrive. I can continue to find beauty and joy and newness on my rides, though I travel the same roads and paths. because everything shifts and changes and the only promise we can truly hang on to is that
this, too, shall pass.

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