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Saturday, July 27, 2013

"You Are Gonna Miss This"

"You're going to miss this.
You're going to want this back.
You're going to wish these days hadn't
gone by so fast,
These are some good times so take a 
good look around,
You may not know it  now, but you're going
to miss this."  Trace Atkins


 While I am not particularly a fan of country music I like this song, perhaps because I find it to be essentially true. I miss being a child at times, the lack of responsibility, the depth of the emotions not yet tempered and tamed by experience.  Anything was possible. And I  miss being a teenager with an entire lifetime of possibilities ahead of me and so very many mistakes yet to make, racing impetuously toward adulthood with no realization of what it really means. And I miss the early years of my marriage when we had nothing, not even a proper bed, and slept on a mattress on the floor, and the pride that came with accumulation of those items to enhance our comfort and meet our needs.  And I miss my children's childhood and the sense of completion and fulfillment they helped bring to my home, flooding its very essence.  Though they have grown and moved away, parts of them are here, permeated the very bones of the house, ghostlike and watching me from shadows, occasionally showing themselves. I miss the way watching them experience life brought back my own experiences or added new dimensions to my perceptions of things.  The way they helped me to effortlessly rearrange priorities and to find the perfect line between selfishness and giving, or at least the best line I could manage.   And  I still enjoy watching them grow, seeing the story of their lives unfold.

The words of this song kept running through my head during last weeks century out of Westport as I rode with some old friends and newer friends, friends that share my love of a good ride, a good joke, and a good course.   Emotions as molten as lava and just as hard to suppress rose within me and I wanted to stop and hug them all and  hold the moment close, to tell them we need to treasure this time together because life is so unpredictable and there is not always a tomorrow despite what Scarlett says.  I wanted to capture to fecund greenness that is Kentucky in a July that has had sufficient rain, to breath it in and make it a part of me, to meld it to my memory of this day and these feelings. But I didn't:  I just rode on. Would they have seen the elephant inside the python or would they just have seen a hat?  (Hint.  "The Little Prince)  Now I will never know.

And yet again today, Friday, July 26, when I decided to take some of the comp time I earned during long days in the winter months and early spring and treat myself to a solo century ride since the weather prediction was for one of those days that is a gift from the cycling gods.  Because in the end, I really doubt I will say, "Boy, I wish I had worked that Friday in July 2013."  In the end, I think I will probably wish I had taken more days like this while I could still ride, that I had not taken my "responsibilities" so seriously.  That I had played more, worked less.  That I had loved more, hated less.  That I had not kept silent about my feelings.  That I had ridden my bicycle every chance I got and explored every new road that I found knowing that every twist and turn can bring a surprise, an unexpected vista, a dog, a hill, a descent, a fall, a friend, a laugh, a tear.  That I had danced with more abandon, not caring what anyone thought.  That I had laughed as I did as a child until I fell down exhausted whenever something struck my funny bone.

Whenever I find I am not appreciating a good ride, where it be due to cold or wind or heat or being tired, I hope I can remember these words because I know that one day I will miss this.   And guys, I will miss you.  I miss the friends I have had who no longer ride or who have moved away or who are injured.  And I will miss the "58 Cafe" that was closed down when I got there, forlorn and abandoned, with only a "For Sale" sign to keep it company. Yes, I remember the meringue pie, the sound of the tenderloin being hammered, the smell of the hunters sitting at the other tables, the laughter at our own table and the feeling of camaraderie.  I remember the long climb out of Kurtz, my thigh muscles aching yet somehow feeling good at the challenge.  Let's make more memories because we're gonna miss this.  We're gonna want this back.  And I just wanted you to know.