For some reason, in the past week, I have been repeatedly flashing back to this village high in Tibetan Sichuan. I just read a post by a Facebook friend; to paraphrase: “If you want to know where your heart is, look at where your mind goes when it wanders.”
It was the beginning of another physically challenging day, frosty, clear, with wood smoke on the air. But that wasn’t it. The roadhouse we stayed in the night before had a mix of police and interesting locals drinking lots of beer and eating many fascinating dishes. The architecture was beautiful. The temple just before the village seemed to hang, glowing white in the thin air, from a cliff. We almost got lost, nothing new. No. It was something else.
Perhaps it was that we’d been on the road from Chengdu for maybe three weeks, just Claire and me and Zippy, and of course our little panda, Lucky. This had become our life, pedaling circles all day, spooling out beautiful mountains, exotic people, breathing in the scents of a foreign, but somehow completely welcoming place.
I recently did a monologue about the concept of time, Einstein’s theory, speed of light, that sort of thing, but also how we are all time travelers, every day, traveling into the future. Something about traveling on a bicycle, carrying all you need to live, not knowing exactly where you are going, not knowing where you will sleep, what you will eat, how big the mountain will be, how cold/hot the air, how tired your legs… I of course am failing miserably in this short post to convey the power to infuse me with wonder these journeys gift us. That’s okay. I’ll try again soon.
For now, I just want you to know, that several times a day, I am transported around Earth to a place that infused me with joy, blanketed me with glory, and contributed to a deeply appreciative life. I am so happy, so thankful.
Silly me. The world is falling apart around us, and I am transported, not to escape, but to reaffirm how special a place in the Universe we in habit, and what special properties our bodies and our minds have to allow full appreciation of our brief time here. Into the future we must go, but we can do it with joy and thanksgiving, and the miracle of a multi-dimensional memory.